Typhoid vaccine: Oral pills and injectables
There are two main types of typhoid vaccines: oral pills and injectables. But which one should you choose?
Both types of vaccines provide protection against typhoid fever, a bacterial infection caused by Salmonella typhi. But if you’re in a situation where you need to choose, here is valuable information that can help you decide.
Oral typhoid vaccine
The oral typhoid vaccine, also known as the Ty21a vaccine or the live oral typhoid vaccine, is a series of capsules that are taken orally. The oral pills provide protection against typhoid fever for up to five years. This vaccine is recommended for travelers to areas where typhoid fever is common and for people who are at a high risk of exposure to the bacteria.
The way the oral typhoid vaccine works is it prevents the bacteria that cause Typhoid (Salmonella typhi) from entering the bloodstream by blocking them at the intestinal surface itself. Side effects and allergic reactions with the oral typhoid vaccine are very uncommon.
Injectable typhoid vaccine
The injectable typhoid vaccine, also known as the typhoid conjugate vaccine or TCV, is a shot that provides long-lasting protection against typhoid fever. This vaccine is usually given in one or two doses and can provide protection for up to three years.
The injectable typhoid vaccine is recommended for travelers to areas where typhoid fever is common, as well as for people who are at a high risk of exposure to the bacteria. For children and adults who cannot swallow the oral vaccine, the injectable vaccine is in demand.
Making the right choice
Both injectable and oral typhoid vaccines are effective in preventing typhoid fever. The choice between the two types of vaccines depends on several factors, including personal preference, the individual’s immune status, and the length of time they will be traveling or exposed to the bacteria.
It’s important to discuss the benefits and potential side effects of both types of typhoid vaccines with a healthcare provider before making a decision.
If you’ll be traveling abroad, particularly to developing countries, the Centers for disease control and prevention advises adults and children to take travel vaccines a week before travel. You can take typhoid vaccines at an urgent care and travel clinic near you.