Typhoid fever is a potentially fatal bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi, which is spread through contaminated water or food. It is prevalent in countries with poor sanitation. Although there are various typhoid tablets (medication) available for treatment, vaccination can help prevent typhoid fever; therefore, if you live in or plan to visit a typhoid endemic region, it is recommended that you get vaccinated. You can find out more about the typhoid vaccines or injection for typhoid fever treatment here.
What types of typhoid vaccines are available in India
There are two different vaccines available to protect you against typhoid fever. One is an unconjugated polysaccharide vaccine that is administered as a monotherapy (single dose) and is effective for at least 3 years. Another option, conjugated polysaccharide typhoid vaccine, which is also administered in a single dose, is substantially better than the unconjugated polysaccharide vaccine. The unconjugated polysaccharide vaccine cannot be given to children under the age of two, whereas the conjugated polysaccharide typhoid vaccine can be administered to infants as young as 6 months.
When and who should get the typhoid fever vaccine
The Indian Academy of Paediatrics recommends that typhoid vaccine be given to all children starting at the age of nine months.
Medical advantages of the typhoid vaccine
The typhoid vaccine activates the immune system to generate antibodies against the Salmonella Typhi bacteria responsible for causing typhoid. As a result, the vaccine aids in the development of immunity and protects the body from typhoid fever that may develop in the future.
What is the effectiveness of the typhoid vaccine
If the necessary precautions are not taken, no medication can provide 100% protection against an illness. Likewise, the typhoid injection (vaccine) does not completely protect you from the risk of contracting typhoid fever. As a result, it is recommended that you take precautionary measures while travelling and avoid consuming tainted water or food. If you are planning to travel, you should consult your doctor before getting the typhoid vaccine. In addition, because the effectiveness of the vaccine may last up to 3 years, a booster shot is advisable after that to continue to remain protected from typhoid fever.
What are the risks of taking the typhoid vaccine?
A vaccine, like any medicine, can have serious side effects, including a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis); however, the likelihood of the typhoid vaccine resulting in serious harm or death is exceptionally low. There are near-zero or very rare chances of serious complications associated with either of the typhoid vaccines.
Some of the mild reactions associated with typhoid vaccine are provided here:
• Headache (up to 1 individual in 30)
• Fever (up to 1 individual in 100)
• Swelling or redness at the injection site (up to about 1 individual in 15)
• Muscle pain
Before taking the typhoid vaccine, inform your physician if you have a weakened immune system, HIV, or haemophilia (a disorder in which blood does not clot easily).
Safety advice before taking the typhoid vaccine
• Avoid consuming alcohol with the typhoid vaccine as it can interfere with the efficacy of the vaccine.
• Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should consult their healthcare provider before taking the typhoid vaccine. Your doctor will decide on whether the vaccine’s benefits outweigh the risks associated.
• If you have any significant history related to your liver or kidney problems, it is advisable to consult your doctor before taking the vaccine.
Are there any typhoid vaccines?
Yes. There are two typhoid vaccines widely used in India. One is an unconjugated polysaccharide vaccine, and the other is a conjugated polysaccharide vaccine.
Do we require doctors’ prescriptions for typhoid vaccine?
Yes, the vaccine will be given by a healthcare practitioner; it should not be self-administered.
How much is the typhoid vaccine price?
The cost of vaccines varies according to the brand of the vaccine used, but the average cost is between Rs. 1500 and Rs. 2000.
For how long does one take medicine for typhoid?
A: Usually, if the typhoid is detected in its early stages, 7 to 14 days of antibiotic treatment or the typhoid medicine course can resolve the typhoid fever, but in severe cases or in cases of complications, it may take a long duration of antibiotics for typhoid along with supportive care.
Who should take the typhoid vaccine?
People residing in or planning to visit a typhoid-prone region should consider taking the typhoid vaccine. Anyone over the age of nine months is eligible to take the typhoid vaccine.