Vaccination against typhoid fever is recommended if youre travelling to parts of the world where the condition is common.
Typhoid fever is found throughout the world, but youre more likely to get it in areas where theres poor sanitation and hygiene.
Vaccination is strongly recommended if youre going to be staying or working with local people, or if youre going to be staying for prolonged periods in areas where sanitation and food hygiene are likely to be poor.
In the UK, most people who get typhoid fever develop it while visiting India, Pakistan or Bangladesh. Its therefore particularly important that youre vaccinated if youre visiting these countries.
Vaccination against typhoid fever is usually free on the NHS from GP surgeries. Private travel clinics also offer the vaccine for about 30.
In the UK, the 2 main vaccines available to prevent typhoid fever are:
Combined typhoid andhepatitis Ainjections are also available for people aged 15 or over. Protection against hepatitis A lasts 1 year and protection against typhoid lasts 3 years.
The vaccines work by stimulating your body to create antibodies (infection-fighting proteins) that prevent you getting ill if you become infected with the typhoid bacteria.
But neither typhoid vaccine is 100% effective, so you should always take precautions when eating food and drinking water abroad.
As the Ty21a vaccine contains a live sample of Salmonella typhi bacteria, it isnt suitable for people with a weakened immune system for example, people withHIVand those receiving certain types of treatment, such aschemotherapy.
It also isnt usually recommended for children under 5, whereas children can have the Vi vaccine from 2 years of age.
Its unclear whether the Vi and Ty21a vaccines present a risk to pregnant or breastfeeding women. But vaccination should be considered if theres a significant risk of getting typhoid fever.
The typhoid vaccine should ideally be given at least 1 month before you travel, although if necessary it can be given closer to your travel date.
Booster vaccinations are recommended every 3 years if you continue to be at risk of infection with typhoid bacteria.
After having the typhoid fever vaccine, some people have temporary soreness, redness, swelling or hardness at the injection site.
About 1 in every 100 people have a high temperature.
Severe reactions are rare for both typhoid vaccines.
Read more aboutroutine NHS vaccinations.
Whether you have been vaccinated against typhoid or not, its important to take basic precautions when travelling in countries where typhoid fever is present.
only drink bottled water from a bottle that was properly sealed, or water thats been recently boiled
avoid ice cream and dont have ice in your drinks
avoid uncooked fruit and vegetables, unless you have washed them in safe water or peeled them yourself
avoid shellfish, seafood and salads
Read more about safe and healthy holidays on the ABTA website
Page last reviewed: 20 September 2021