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Typhoid fever is a potentially serious bacterial infection that is usually transmitted through consumption of contaminated food and water. Each year an estimated 22 million cases and 200 000 related deaths occur globally. Travellers visiting South Asia is at highest risk; other risk areas include East and Southeast Asia, Africa, Caribbean, Central and South America. Two kinds of vaccine are available to protect travellers from typhoid fever. While they are not 100% effective, people travelling to risk areas are strongly recommended to be vaccinated, especially for long-term travellers or those staying with or visiting friends and relatives. Since vaccines do not provide 100% protection, it is important for travellers to be cautious and take steps in preventing consumption of contaminated food and water.
Typherix is an inactivated vaccine that is administered as a single dose and is recommended for travellers 2 years of age or over who are at risk of typhoid fever. One dose will provide protection for at least three years, beyond which a booster dose is recommended for those staying at or planning to revisit risk areas. It must be administered 2 weeks prior to travel for optimal protection.
Vivotif is an oral live vaccine that consists of 4 doses, to be taken every other day (day 0, 2, 4, and 6) finishing the last dose 1 week prior to travel. It can be used for travellers 6 years of age or over, providing protection for 5 years. After 5 years, a booster series of 4 doses taken every other day is recommended for continued protection.
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