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 6 weeks, 4 months, 6 months, 18 months, 4 years and 12 years. 

All pregnant women should receive a whooping cough vaccine in every pregnancy in the last trimester 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.

A whooping cough vaccine is free for everyone listed above. Contact your general practitioner (GP), remote health clinic or community care centre.

Other people not in the above groups can have a whooping cough vaccine but will need to see their GP or immunisation provider for a script to pay for the vaccine. Contact your health care provider for more information.

Last updated: 27 June 2017