Possible Problems With Typhoid Vaccine and Info for Travelers
Mild Problems With the Inactivated Typhoid Vaccine (Shot)
Mild problems that can occur with the typhoid vaccine include but are not limited to:
- Fever (up to about 1 person per 100).
- Headache (up to about 3 people per 100).
- Redness or swelling at the site of the injection (up to 7 people per 100).
Mild Problems With the Live Typhoid Vaccine (Oral)
Mild problems that can occur with the oral typhoid vaccine include but are not limited to:
- Fever or headache (up to about 5 people per 100).
- Abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, or rash (rare).
Serious Problems With the Typhoid Vaccine
Serious problems can also happen with either typhoid vaccine. The risk, though, is extremely small. Symptoms that may indicate a serious problem include:
- High fever
- Behavioral changes
- Difficulty breathing
- Hoarseness or wheezing
- A fast heartbeat or dizziness.
Call your doctor right away if any of these symptoms occur or if something "just does not feel right."
The typhoid vaccine is not required for international travel, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends it for travelers to areas where there is a recognized risk of exposure to the bacteria that causes typhoid fever. Risk is greatest for travelers to the Indian subcontinent and other developing countries in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
Travelers who are visiting relatives or friends and who may be less likely to eat only safe foods (cooked and served hot) and beverages (carbonated beverages or those made from water that has been boiled) are at greater risk. Typhoid vaccine is particularly recommended for those who will be traveling in smaller cities, villages, and rural areas off the usual tourist itineraries, where food and beverage choices may be more limited.
Travelers have been known to acquire typhoid fever even during brief visits of less than a week to countries where the disease is prevalent. While the typhoid vaccine is recommended, travelers should be cautioned that none of the available typhoid vaccines are 100 percent effective, nor do they provide protection against other common causes of gastrointestinal infections. The typhoid vaccine is not a substitute for careful selection of food and drink.