Is typhoid vaccine important for your child?

With the high prevalence of extensively resistant typhoid (XDR-typhoid) in Asia, Africa, and even in the US and UK, the World Health Organization (WHO) strongly recommends infants and children to be vaccinated against typhoid, especially in the endemic countries. For more information about this vaccine, it’s best to ask Best Child specialist in Lahore. Read on to know how important typhoid vaccine is for your child(ren).

What is XDR-Typhoid?

Typhoid is a bacterial disease caused by salmonella typhi that spreads through contaminated food and water. It causes infection of the GI tract with multiple systemic complications. Someone who is infected with salmonella typhi continues to shed the virus in their urine and feces and typically becomes a carrier for further transmission of disease.

Typhoid fever reaches a high-grade range and causes stomach pain and constipation or diarrhea. Patients may lose weight, get a spotty rash on their abdomen or have a bloated stomach. They may also experience loss of appetite, severe headache, weakness, and agitation. If left untreated, typhoid can morph into a life-threatening infection. Without adequate treatment and eradication of the bug, the patient becomes a chronic carrier of salmonella with frequent reactivations later on in life.

In recent times, salmonella has become resistant to many powerful antibiotics. The agents that were once used successfully in the past to combat this bacterium are no longer effective. Thus, this XDR form needs preventive care along with therapeutic measures.

Vaccination for typhoid

The world health organization (WHO) recommends typhoid conjugate vaccine (TCV) for people living in endemic countries. This vaccine can be given to children as young as six months of age and works to confer immunity to those impacted by the disease. The newly updated typhoid conjugate vaccine is safe, and effective for infants and children, unlike the previously available forms. In fact, TCV is recommended to be included in routine immunization.

In countries, with a high disease load of typhoid catch-up vaccination campaigns should be run for children up to 15 years of age. This will help to contain typhoid outbreaks and save high-risk people from disease. The alarmingly high rate of XDR-typhoid in developing countries has created an urgent need to focus on prevention and vaccination. Vaccine coverage against typhoid will not only save lives but also strengthen the battle against antimicrobial drug resistance.

Typhoid vaccine is also recommended for people who are visiting endemic countries. In the UK, two forms of the vaccine are available: Vi vaccine and the Ty21a vaccine. Vi vaccine can be given as a single injection while Ty21a can be given as three capsules to be taken on alternate days. These vaccines should be taken one month prior to travel although you can take it closer to the travel date. The vaccines give protection that lasts three years.

Vaccines work by stimulating the body to create antibodies or infection-fighting agents against the bacteria. However, no vaccine hundred percent effective, and therefore precaution regarding hygiene and clean food and water should always be taken. If your children haven’t received their typhoid vaccine as yet, talk to their healthcare provider or Best Child specialist in Karachi to get vaccinated.

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