Division of Infectious Diseases and Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, The Long Island Campus for Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New Hyde Park, New York
One hundred fifty-seven travelers who received the new oral typhoid vaccine strain Ty21a between April 1990 and February 1992 were surveyed by questionnaire to assess compliance and toxicity. The four-dose vaccine should be taken every other day before meals, and kept refrigerated between doses. Noncompliance with one or more of these instructions was seen in approximately 30% of travelers. Thirty-four (21.6%) took one or more doses after meals, 13 (8.3%) did not take all four doses, 10 (6.4%) failed to take the dose every other day, and five (3.2%) did not keep the vaccine refrigerated. The vaccine was well-tolerated and only 14 (8.9%) had one or more minor side effects. Of 59 (38%) who had received injectable typhoid vaccine previously, all preferred oral versus injectable vaccine, and reported moderate-to-severe side effects with the injectable form. Until a single-dose, oral typhoid vaccine is available, Ty21a is an attractive option. To achieve maximum efficacy, the importance of compliance should be emphasized.