Do you need to get a typhoid booster shot? If you're planning to travel to parts of the world where typhoid is common, getting vaccinated against this bacterial infection is a must.
Why Get a Typhoid Vaccine Booster
Typhoid fever is a serious and potentially fatal bacterial infection transmitted through contaminated food and water due to poor sanitation. The disease is caused by the Salmonella Typhi bacteria.
While rare in developed countries, typhoid risks remain high for travelers visiting endemic regions like South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
There are two typhoid fever vaccine options available for use in the United States.
Pill vaccine (oral): For those ages 6 and up. It's four pills every other day, finished 1 week before travel.
Shot vaccine (injection): For those ages 2 and up. Given at least 2 weeks before travel.
Initial typhoid vaccination provides crucial protection, but immunity does wane over time. Getting a typhoid vaccine booster extends your protection so you don’t have to worry as much about typhoid when going abroad.
When to Get Your Next Typhoid Vaccine Booster
If it has been over 2 years since you received the injectable typhoid vaccine, it's time to get a booster shot before traveling again. This maintains sufficient circulating antibodies against the Salmonella Typhi bacteria that causes typhoid fever.
If it has been over 5 years since you took the oral typhoid capsule vaccine, a booster capsule is advised prior to travel as immunity declines.
Here is a table summarizing information on when to get the next typhoid vaccine booster:
Type of Vaccine
Completion Time Before Travel
4 capsules (1 capsule every other day)
Every 5 years
6 years and older
1 Single dose
Every 2 years
2 years and older
Who Shouldn’t Get a Typhoid Vaccine
Most people can safely receive a typhoid vaccine. But some people should avoid these vaccines:
Those with life-threatening vaccine allergies
People who previously had severe reactions to a typhoid vaccine, such as dangerously high fever, fainting, or anaphylaxis
Those allergic to gelatin, some versions of the injectable typhoid vaccine contain this substance
People with weakened immunity (due to diseases like HIV/AIDS, leukemia, or lymphoma) or people taking immunosuppressant medications
Those ill with active fever; should postpone until fever passes
Pregnant or breastfeeding women
Children under 2 years old (injectable vaccine) or under 6 years old (oral vaccine), vaccines only approved over these minimum ages so far
Talk to your doctor first if you:
Have allergies, especially to antibiotics or vaccine components
Have gastrointestinal issues, hence, oral vaccine may not be advised
Have a chronic condition that affects your immune system
Are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning pregnancy, so it’s important to discuss risks or benefits
What To Do If You Can’t Get Typhoid Vaccination
Some people are unable to safely receive the typhoid vaccine due to age, allergies, pregnancy or weakened immune systems.
Even if you can't get vaccinated though, you can still take preventative measures against typhoid:
Choose food or water carefully. Only eat thoroughly cooked foods and drink bottled or purified beverages. Avoid raw foods, ice, and unpasteurized dairy.
Practice excellent hygiene. Wash hands frequently with soap and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
Take antibiotics if prescribed. If you develop a fever or have known typhoid exposure, promptly visit a doctor about taking antibiotics.
Ask doctors about other prevention strategies. You may be able to take temporary medicines prior to travel to boost protection against typhoid bacteria.
Typhoid fever is a threat for anyone traveling to high risk areas. But by being careful about foods and diligent with hygiene, even people who can't get the vaccines can reduce their chances of getting typhoid infection.
Consult with a Travel Health Specialist
Our experienced staff can help you develop a wise prevention strategy tailored to your unique health needs and travel plans.