Typhoid vaccine

Date: May 2022, Version 4

What is typhoid?

Typhoid is a potentially serious illness that is caught through contaminated food and drink and is linked to poor sanitation.

Pregnant women may be more likely to catch typhoid infection and are more likely to experience complications than non-pregnant individuals. Typhoid in pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage.

Typhoid is common in India, Southeast Asia, and the African continent. Vaccination is therefore usually recommended for travellers to these regions.


What are the benefits of typhoid vaccination in pregnancy?

Typhoid vaccines reduce the risk of catching typhoid, and therefore complications to both the woman and her baby.

Because vaccination against typhoid might not provide complete protection against catching the illness, it is important that people travelling to areas where the disease is common take strict precautions to avoid contact with potentially contaminated food and water. This includes drinking only bottled water, avoiding ice in drinks, avoiding eating raw fruits and vegetables, choosing hot foods, and washing hands frequently in hot, soapy water.


What are the risks of typhoid vaccination during pregnancy?

There are no known risks of being vaccinated against typhoid during pregnancy.

As a general precaution, live vaccines tend to be avoided in pregnancy where there is an alternative. This means that pregnant women will usually be offered an injectable non-live typhoid vaccine rather than the live vaccine which is taken as a tablet.


Are there any alternatives to typhoid vaccination in pregnancy?

For some pregnant women it may be possible to avoid exposure to typhoid by not travelling to certain areas. If this is not possible, vaccination is advised.

What if I prefer not to be vaccinated against typhoid in pregnancy?

Catching typhoid in pregnancy can lead to pregnancy complications and serious illness. There is no evidence that the vaccine causes harm. Women who prefer not to be vaccinated should avoid travel to areas with a high risk of typhoid. If travel cannot be avoided, vaccination is strongly recommended as there are clear benefits to both the woman and baby. A doctor or midwife will be happy to discuss any concerns.

Will my baby need extra monitoring?

Pregnant women in the UK are offered a very detailed scan at around 20 weeks of pregnancy as part of routine antenatal care. Vaccination against typhoid in pregnancy is not expected to cause problems that would require any extra monitoring of the baby.

Are there any risks to my baby if the father has been vaccinated against typhoid?

We would not expect any increased risk to the baby if the father received a typhoid vaccination around the time of conception.

Who can I talk to if I have questions?

If you have any questions regarding the information in this leaflet please discuss them with your health care provider. They can access more detailed medical and scientific information from www.uktis.org.

How can I help to improve drug safety information for pregnant women in the future?

Our online reporting system (MyBump Portal) allows women who are currently pregnant to create a secure record of their pregnancy, collected through a series of questionnaires. You will be asked to enter information about your health, whether or not you take any medicines, your pregnancy outcome and your child's development. You can update your details at any time during pregnancy or afterwards. This information will help us better understand how medicines affect the health of pregnant women and their babies. Please visit the MyBump Portal to register.

General information
Sadly, miscarriage and birth defects can occur in any pregnancy.

Miscarriage occurs in about 1 in every 5 pregnancies, and 1 in every 40 babies are born with a birth defect. This is called the ‘background risk’ and happens whether medication is taken or not.

Most medicines cross the placenta and reach the baby. For many medications this is not a problem. However, some medicines can affect a baby’s growth and development.

If you take regular medication and are planning to conceive, you should discuss whether your medicine is safe to continue with your doctor/health care team before becoming pregnant. If you have an unplanned pregnancy while taking a medicine, you should tell your doctor as soon as possible.

If a new medicine is suggested for you during pregnancy, please make sure that the person prescribing it knows that you are pregnant. If you have any concerns about a medicine, you can check with your doctor, midwife or pharmacist.

Our Bumps information leaflets provide information about the effects of medicines in pregnancy so that you can decide, together with your healthcare provider, what is best for you and your baby.