Typhoid Vi Polysaccharide Vaccine

The intramuscular Typhoid Vi Pholysaccharide Vaccine is the most effective method for protecting individuals against typhoid fever.

Overview

Typhoid fever is a very serious disease that can cause death in the most extreme cases. It is caused by the Salmonella typhi virus and 1 in 5 untreated cases results in death.

Once contracted typhoid can be treated with antibiotics as long as they are administered right away. In cases where contraction is not treated 1 in 10 people will experience severe complications in the third week of infection. These complications can be fatal and include:

  • Gastro-intestinal bleeding
  • Perforation of the digestive system

Without treatment 1 in 5 who contract typhoid will die.

The intramuscular typhoid vaccination works by exposing the body to inactive Salmonella typhi virus. The body creates natural antibodies against the virus, enabling the body to attack the virus if it is encountered again naturally.

The virus is commonly spread through infected food or water that is injected. In some cases, however, it can be transmitted between people through contact. Close contact would be required and this is usually only the case within households.

People can be carriers of Typhoid even if they do not appear to be sick.

Typhoid is rare in areas of the world where there are good sewage systems in place and good water supplies. There are, however, still occurrences of typhoid in the US. Around 400 Americans acquire typhoid each year, most of them while traveling abroad. Of these a small number become active carriers and begin excreting the virus themselves.

The typhoid vaccine is recommended for those traveling to or living in remote areas where water and waste systems are not up to hygienic standards. Currently, the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the vaccine for those visiting:

  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Latin America

The typhoid vaccine given by intramuscular injection helps to prevent typhoid fever. While the vaccine is not 100% effective it is the most effective protection against typhoid.

In addition to vaccination, patients should also follow best practice whilst abroad and particularly when they are in contact with water and food. Water sterilization through boiling and treatment will significantly reduce the risk of contamination. Good food and toilet hygiene should also be followed at all times to further reduce the risks.

The typhoid vaccine should be administered at least 1 week before the individual travels to the at-risk areas. In ideal cases, the typhoid vaccine should be given 1 month before travel. This gives the body time to develop the necessary antibodies and recover before travel to the at-risk area takes place.

If travel or stay in at-risk areas continues then a booster dose should be administered every 2 years. A booster should be administered before a new trip to an at-risk area if 2 years has elapsed.

The typhoid vaccine can only be administered under the supervision of a doctor. In very rare and severe cases, anaphylaxis can occur and medical attention will be required immediately.

The typhoid injection has a range of common side effects. Some of these side effects need to be treated immediately and will indicate that any further doses of the vaccine should not be administered. Others are common and can be expected when receiving the vaccine. Your healthcare professional can advise you on how to alleviate these symptoms.

Condition treated

  • Typhoid

Type of medicine

  • Vaccine
  • Intramuscular injection

Side effects

The typhoid vaccine can have some unwanted side effects. While not all are serious, it is important to tell your doctor if you experience any side effects that might occur after a dose of the typhoid vaccine. Some of the following side effects will indicate that you should not receive any further doses of the vaccine and some may need medical treatment.

You should inform your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following side effects:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Itching, of the hands and feet in particular
  • Reddening of skin on the face and around the ears
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Unusual feeling of weakness
  • Swelling of the eyes
  • Swelling of the face
  • Swelling of the inside of the nose
  • Abscess at the injection site

Other side effects do not usually need medical attention. It is common to experience any or some of the following after a typhoid intramuscular injection. Your doctor may be able to help alleviate any of the following and you should contact your doctor if these symptoms are bothersome or ongoing.

  • Fever
  • General discomfort
  • General feeling of illness
  • Gastro-intestinal disturbances
  • Loss of appetite
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Rash
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Pain, redness or swelling at injection site
  • Local reactions to injection site

Other side effects may occur that are not listed here. If you notice other side effects, inform your healthcare professional and seek their advice.

In very rare cases the typhoid vaccine can cause anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can be fatal. When a doctor supervises the vaccine administration they will have medicines appropriate for this reaction to hand and will be able to provide the emergency treatment required.

Dosage

The dosage of typhoid Vi polysaccharide for all patients aged 2 or older is the same.

The dosage administered in 0.5ml.

Below the age of 2, the vaccine is not usually recommended.

There is no restriction on the use of the vaccine for those aged over 65. While there is little evidence, the typhoid vaccine is not expected to cause different results or side effects in the elderly.

The typhoid vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women.

Studies in women suggest that there is minimal risk from breastfeeding after receiving the typhoid vaccine.

Interactions

Drugs and medicines can interact with each other in the body, so it is very important that you inform your doctor of all prescribed, unprescribed and prohibited drugs that you might be taking. Taking more than one drug at once can cause one or more to stop working and in severe cases they can react violently with one another in your body causing adverse effects.

The typhoid vaccine is not recommended with the following medicine. Your doctor may still decide to administer the vaccine while you are taking this drug but may wish to adjust dosages or carry out additional monitoring.

  • Deflazacort

The typhoid vaccine is not usually recommended with the following medicines. In some cases, the doctor may still administer the vaccine but may wish to adjust dosages.

  • Adalimumab
  • Immune Globulin
  • Leflunomide
  • Secukinumab
  • Teriflunomide

Medicines can also interact with unprescribed drugs, food, alcohol and tobacco. Discuss your habits with your doctor before receiving the vaccine injection.

Warnings

Other medical problems can also impact the decision about whether to give you the vaccine or not. You should make your doctor aware of any medical problems that you have or have had in the past. You should be particularly clear with your doctor before receiving the vaccine if you have suffered from either of the below:

  • Have previously shown high sensitivity to the typhoid vaccine. Treatment is not recommended in this case.
  • Are suffering from a severe fever. The symptoms of a fever can be confused with side effects of the vaccine so you should not receive it when suffering a fever.

The doctor also needs to be informed as to whether the patient has any addictions or dependencies. This includes previous instances of addiction, even where the patient has successfully completed a rehabilitation treatment program.

The patient should also let the doctor know if they suffer from a weakened immune system. This can be a result of HIV, AIDS, cancer, leukaemia, lymphoma, thymic disease, or because of a range of different conditions. In the case of an asymptomatic HIV infection, the patient will need to be vaccinated and monitored for any possible side effects.

Storage

A medically trained member of staff is assigned to every vaccination clinic to be responsible for the safe storage of this vaccine.

Store at +2° to +8°. Do not freeze. Maintain the correct temperature during transport and at all times.

If the typhoid vaccine is left at room temperature it will lose effectiveness.

Follow instructions on the manufacturer label at all times.

Expired vaccines should be disposed of safely and appropriately.

All vaccine materials should be properly disposed of once the patient has been administered with the vaccine.

Summary

Typhoid is commonly spread via infected food and water but can be passed from person to person where close contact is made.

An infected individual can experience severe side effects that can be fatal. These include gastrointestinal bleeding and perforation of the digestive system. Once infected, treatment is possible through a course of antibiotics, but the infection needs to be treated soon after contraction.

The typhoid vaccine will protect the individual by encouraging the development of natural antibodies within the individual.

While the vaccine is not 100% effective in all individuals, it is the best protection from the typhoid virus. The vaccine is administered as a single dose for all patients over the age of 2 and a booster injection is required every 2 years.

Common side effects from the injection include fever, nausea and illness. More serious side effects can occur and medical attention should be sought immediately in this case.

The vaccine can interact with other medicines and drugs when taken, so it is important to share any information about substances you are taking with your healthcare professional before the vaccine is administered.

Resources
Last Reviewed:
December 25, 2017
Last Updated:
December 22, 2017