Typhoid fever is a systematic disease with debilitating complications and sometimes death. No wonder many people heaved a sigh of relief and had a renewed hope when the typhoid vaccine that provides longer immunity was introduced. The use of the vaccine should also help to curb the frequent use of antibiotics for treatment of presumed typhoid fever, and thereby help to slow the alarming increase in antibiotic resistance in Salmonella Typhi.
Typhoid vaccine is licensed for use in 92 countries.
Brief History of typhoid vaccine
The first typhoid vaccines were developed in 1896 by Almroth Edward Wright, Richard Pfeiffer, and Wilhelm Kolle. It failed clinical trials due to it adverse effects and suffered a setback subsequently. Newer formulations with minimal or no side effects were recently introduced to the market and have greatly gained acceptance globally.
Approved by the National Agency for Food and Drug Admistration and Control in 2014 after introduction to the Nigerian market by the company, Creative Ideas Limited in partnership with Dalat vaccine Company, DAVAC, a Vietnamese consortium that has the sole franchise for its distribution in West Africa.
Types of Typhoid vaccines
There are several licensed brands of the vaccine in the market. They are:
- Typhoid vi
- Ty21a oral vaccine
- Tyvivac which is the brand currently available in Nigeria.
There are two vaccines (based on route of administration) to prevent typhoid. One is an inactivated (killed) vaccine gotten as a shot. The other is a live, attenuated (weakened) vaccine which is taken orally (by mouth).
What age can you get the typhoid vaccine?
It is for both adults and children. Children can get the vaccine at 6 months and above. It is being advocated by stakeholders and health professionals to be introduced into the immunization schedule. But can the government shoulder the cost?
For how long does this vaccine gives protection?
Tyvivac and other typhoid vaccines provides immunity against typhoid fever for 3 years. A booster dose is needed every 3 years. It does not provide life long immunity.
According to Wikipedia, the current vaccines are very safe. Minor side effects may occur at the site of injection. The injectable vaccine is safe in people with HIV/AIDS and the oral vaccine can be used as long as symptoms are not present. While it has not been studied during pregnancy, the non-live vaccines are believed to be safe while the live vaccine is not recommended.
Where and Cost of typhoid vaccine
Where can you get the typhoid vaccine? The truth is typhoid fever vaccines are still largely unavailable or scarce in most pharmacies and hospitals probably because of storage facilities.
I discussed with a pharmacist and she told me the price of a vial of tyvivac is between #3000- #5,000 Naira. You can get the vaccine in big pharmacy shops in Lagos, Abuja, Benin city, Port Harcourt, Kano, Anambra, Enugu, Ibadan and Kaduna. If you are in Ghana, you can get tyvivac or any other brand of the vaccine in Accra.
Also, Bridge clinic in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt can give you a shot of the typhoid fever vaccine for #15,000 Naira.
UPDATED: You can get a shot of typhoid vaccine right now in LASUTH.
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