There are two options on the market for typhoid fever vaccination. Typhim Vi is the injectable version and Vivotif is the pill version available.
The typhoid shot provides protection for two years and the typhoid pills provide protection for 5 years. However, the four capsules must be refrigerated and taken every other day for the period of a week. Occasionally people can complain of some stomach upset and GI symptoms as the pills must be taken on an empty stomach.
For those that do not take any daily medication, the injection is easier to be administered with nothing else to remember or refrigerate. If you have a short window between your appointment and departure date, the typhoid shot is also best because the pills take a week to completely finish the course.
The typhoid shot is not a live vaccine, so there are generally fewer side effects. A sore arm or headache are the most common side effects reported. The typhoid pills are a live vaccine, so some people complain of stomach pains or general unwell feeling.
The oral typhoid vaccine is recommended for those 6 years of age and older, whereas the injectable typhoid vaccine is recommended for those 2 years of age and older. Being able to swallow pills is a necessity because the capsules cannot be broken open or crushed.
If you are currently taking antibiotics, you cannot receive the oral typhoid vaccine until your antibiotic series is finished because the antibiotics would prevent your body from making an immune response to the typhoid bacteria. Some antimalarials have antibiotic properties, so it is recommended to wait 10 days after receiving the typhoid vaccine to start malaria prophylaxis.
The oral typhoid vaccine has not been studied in pregnant or breastfeeding mothers. They should avoid travel to areas where typhoid outbreaks are common. The typhoid vaccine is not 100% effective, so taking measures to eat clean food and drink clean water is highly recommended.