Who should be vaccinated against whooping cough?

"Both children and adults need to be vaccinated against whooping cough," says UCLA pediatric infectious-disease specialist James Cherry, MD. This should include:
  • Anyone 7 years and older who is not fully immunized, including those who are older than 64.
  • Women of childbearing age, before, during or immediately after pregnancy.
  • Other people who have contact with pregnant women or infants.
Children receive the DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) vaccine as part of their routine immunizations. But since 2005, a booster shot (Tdap) has been available for adolescents and adults with a special vaccine prepared for older persons. Says Dr. Cherry, "This is important because even if you have had the vaccinations in childhood, immunity wanes after about five years. The big push now is to get more people to use these adolescent and adult Tdap booster vaccines -- in particular, women who are pregnant or have just given birth, along with the infant’s father, siblings and grandparents. This is known as a cocoon strategy and can prevent a good deal of early infant infection."

Continue Learning about Whooping Cough

Whooping Cough

Whooping Cough

If your child experiences uncontrollable coughing that makes it difficult for them to breathe, talk to your doctor about whooping cough. Thousands of people yearly become ill with whooping cough, which is also known as pertussis, ...

and some are hospitalized. This highly contagious illness can be very dangerous, and even deadly, in young infants. Thankfully, vaccines have helped to reduce the spread of whooping cough, although current vaccines are not 100% effective against this illness. If your child contracts this bacterial respiratory infection he or she will most likely be treated with antibiotics. To protect your children against whooping cough, talk to your doctor about vaccination

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.