Whooping cough vaccination

Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious disease of the nose and throat that starts with cold-like symptoms and may lead to prolonged coughing. Infants under 6 months of age are the most at risk of developing severe whooping cough.

The whooping cough vaccine is combined with diphtheria and tetanus (DTPa)  and sometimes hepatitis B, haemophiilis influenzae B and polio vaccine.

It is given as an injection. It is given at:

  • six weeks
  • four months
  • six months
  • 18 months
  • four years
  • 12 years.

All pregnant women should receive a whooping cough vaccine in every pregnancy from 20 weeks to pass whooping cough antibodies to the baby so they are protected from whooping cough from birth.

Fathers and household carers of infants should also be vaccinated every 10 years with whooping cough vaccine.

Contact your general practitioner (GP), remote health clinic or community care centre.

Last updated: 17 April 2019

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