Who Should Get Immunised Against Whooping Cough
Anyone who wants to protect themselves against whooping cough can talk to their doctor about getting immunised.
Whooping cough immunisation is recommended for:
- children aged 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 18 months, four years, and between 10 and 15 years , at no cost under the National Immunisation Program .
- pregnant women in the third trimester, ideally between weeks 20 and 32 of every pregnancy, at no cost through the NIP
- healthcare workers, if they have not had a whooping cough vaccine in the past 10 years
- people working in early childhood education and care, if they havent had a whooping cough vaccine in the past 10 years
- adult household contacts and carers of babies under 6 months old
- people who are travelling overseas, if they havent had a whooping cough vaccine in the past 10 years
- adults of any age who need a tetanus, diphtheria or polio dose
- people aged 50 years, at the same time as they get their recommended tetanus and diphtheria vaccine
- people aged 65 or over, if they have not had a whooping cough vaccine in the past 10 years.
People under 20 years old, refugees and other humanitarian entrants of any age, can get whooping cough vaccines at no cost through the NIP. This is if they did not receive the vaccines in childhood. This is called catch-up vaccination.
Can Whooping Cough Be Prevented
Although a vaccine has been developed against whooping cough, which is routinely given to children in their first year of life, cases of the disease still occur, especially in infants younger than age 6 months.
Since the 1980s, a dramatic increase in the number of cases of pertussis has occurred, especially in children and teenagers, ages 10 to 19, and in babies younger than age 6 months. This is because the decline in vaccination in some communities. The CDC recommends that children get 5 DTaP shots for maximum protection against pertussis. A DTaP shot is a combination vaccine that protects against 3 diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. The first 3 shots are given at ages 2, 4, and 6 months. The fourth shot is given between ages 15 and 18 months the fifth shot is given when a child enters school at ages 4 to 6 years. At their regular checkups, preteens ages 11 or 12 years should get a dose of Tdap. The Tdap booster contains tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. If an adult did not get a Tdap as a preteen or teen, he or she should get a dose of Tdap instead of the Td booster. All adults should get a Td booster every 10 years, but it can be given before the 10-year mark. Pregnant women should have the booster late in the second trimester, or in the third trimester of each pregnancy. Always consult your health care provider for advice.
What Are The Symptoms Of Whooping Cough
The symptoms of whooping cough are different depending on your age. Babies and young kids can have severe coughing spells that make it hard to eat, drink, breathe, or sleep. Some babies may turn blue because they can’t catch their breath. They may not cough at all but have life-threatening pauses in their breathing. Older kids and adults may only have a runny nose and low fever, followed by a persistent cough that can last for several weeks or months and is often worse at night. The name “whooping cough” comes from the sound many babies and kids make when trying to get air after a coughing spell. It is important to know that not everyone with whooping cough makes the “whoop” sound. The best way to know if you have whooping cough is to see your doctor, nurse, or clinician.
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Do I Need The Whooping Cough Vaccine
In the United States, vaccination against whooping cough is recommended for people of all age groups. This include babies, children, teens, adults, and pregnant people.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two vaccines to protect against whooping cough:
- Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis for babies and children under age 7
- Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis for older children and adults
Are There Side Effects From The Vaccines
Like any medication, vaccines may cause side effects. Most are mild:
- Pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site
- Mild fever
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach ache
- Chills, body aches, sore joints, rash, or swollen glands
Moderate reactions to whooping cough vaccine are rare, but could include crying for three hours or more in children. The only known serious reaction to the DTaP vaccine is an allergic reaction to the vaccine and is very rare, less than 1 in 1 million doses. There are no known moderate or serious reactions to the Tdap vaccine.
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Does The Whooping Cough Vaccine Really Work
While it is not perfect, the whooping cough vaccine is the best available protection against the disease. It helps protect both the person who gets the vaccine and those around them who are most vulnerable to severe whooping cough or complications . We know that the protection received from any of the available whooping cough vaccines is fairly good in the first year after receiving the vaccine, but it does wear off over time. In the same way, people that had whooping cough in the past gradually become susceptible to the disease in about five to ten years.
Are There Alternatives To The Vaccine
There is no other way to protect your baby from whooping cough. Recently, some young babies in the UK have died from whooping cough before they were old enough to receive their first vaccine.
Getting vaccinated during pregnancy provides antibodies that will be passed to the baby so he or she has some protection during the first few weeks of life when whooping cough is most serious.
The earliest your baby can receive the vaccine themselves is at two months, as newborn babies do not respond well to the vaccine. Three doses are needed to get full protection.
Breastfeeding alone will not protect your child from whooping cough before their first injection, as not enough immunity is passed in the breast milk to your baby.
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Blood Tests Cannot Tell If You Need A Tdap Vaccine
Experts do not know what level of whooping cough antibodies is needed to protect anyone, including babies, from getting sick. That is why CDC recommends all women get a Tdap vaccine during each pregnancy even women with some antibodies due to a previous infection or vaccine. The goal is to give each baby the greatest number of protective antibodies possible.
Are There More Cases Of Whooping Cough Than What’s Reported
There are always more cases of whooping cough than what’s reported. Only about one out of every 10 cases gets reported to public health because:
- Sometimes whooping cough is diagnosed as something else.
- Some people have whooping cough without knowing it, so they may not see a doctor and it could go undiagnosed and unreported.
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Whooping Cough Can Be Serious For You Your Baby And Your Family
Whooping cough can cause serious and sometimes life-threatening complications in babies. This is especially true within the first 6 months of life. It is important to know that many babies with whooping cough dont cough at all. Instead it causes them to stop breathing and turn blue. About half of babies who get whooping cough end up in the hospital. The younger the baby is when she gets whooping cough, the more likely it is that doctors will need to treat her in the hospital. Of those babies who get treatment for whooping cough in a hospital, about 1 out of 4 will get pneumonia and 1 or 2 out of 100 will die. Other complications include violent, uncontrolled shaking, life-threatening pauses in breathing, and brain disease.
View photos of a baby being treated for whooping cough.
Adolescents and adults can also have complications from whooping cough. They are usually less serious in this age group, especially in those who got vaccines against whooping cough. The cough itself often causes common complications in adolescents and adults, including loss of bladder control, fainting, and rib fractures.
View videos of a child and an adult with whooping cough.
Is Whooping Cough Vaccination In Pregnancy Working
Yes, it is. Published research from the UK vaccination programme shows that vaccinating pregnant women against whooping cough has been highly effective in protecting young babies until they can have their first vaccination when they are 8 weeks old.
Babies born to women vaccinated at least a week before birth had a 91% reduced risk of becoming ill with whooping cough in their first weeks of life, compared to babies whose mothers had not been vaccinated.
An additional benefit is that the protection the mother receives from the vaccination will lower her own risk of infection and of passing whooping cough on to her baby.
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How Do I Spot Whooping Cough In My Baby
Be alert to the signs and symptoms of whooping cough, which include severe coughing fits that may be accompanied by difficulty breathing or vomiting after coughing, and the characteristic “whoop” sound.
If you are worried your baby may have whooping cough, contact your doctor immediately.
Read more about whooping cough vaccination in the leaflet Whooping cough and pregnancy from Public Health England.
How Is Whooping Cough Diagnosed
It can be difficult for doctors to diagnose whooping cough simply by listening to a cough. Whenever possible, they use nasal swab testing to confirm a whooping cough diagnosis.
If the doctor suspects that your baby has whooping cough, he or she will likely recommend an antibiotic to fight the infection right away.
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How Many Times Can You Get Whooping Cough
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Moreover, can whooping cough come back?
It usually takes about seven to 10 days after being exposed to the infection to start showing symptoms. Full recovery from whooping cough may take two to three months. Vomiting and exhaustion may follow severe coughing fits. This stage usually lasts one to six weeks, but may last as long as 10 weeks.
One may also ask, how long does a whooping cough vaccine last for? The vaccine should be given at least 2 weeks before contact with the infant. Adults working with infants and young children under 4 years of age and all health care workers should receive a dose of pertussis vaccine. A booster dose is recommended every 10 years. Like all medications, vaccines may have side effects.
Keeping this in view, what are the 3 stages of whooping cough?
There are three recognized stages of the disease: catarrhal, paroxysmal, and convalescent. The incubation period for Pertussis is 7 to 10 days. During the first or catarrhal stage of the disease, the symptoms are mild and may go unnoticed or be confused with the common cold or influenza.
Are you immune to whooping cough after having it?
Yes. When someone gets whooping cough, their body develops a natural immunity. However, it’s unknown how long that immunity lasts for each person, so routine vaccination against whooping cough is still recommended for people who have had whooping cough.
Why Should Pregnant Women Get Vaccinated During Each Pregnancy
Women should be vaccinated during each pregnancy because the mother passes some protection to the baby before he or she is born, and because protection from Tdap is most effective within the first year after receiving the vaccine. Whooping cough can be serious for infants, and most get it from parents, siblings, or caregivers. Getting the mother vaccinated at each pregnancy provides the best protection for each baby.
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Your Vaccine During Pregnancy Could Affect Your Babys Response To His Vaccine
There is a chance that your babys immune response to the first few doses of his DTaP vaccine may not be as strong after you get your whooping cough vaccine while pregnant. However, based on a recent study looking at this issue, this interference does not seem to cause any problems when it comes to protecting your baby. Researchers are still working to better understand this issue. The benefits of you getting the vaccine while pregnant outweigh this potential risk. Babies younger than 2 months old only have the antibodies they get from their mother to help protect them. Any protection that you can provide at this age is critical because young babies are most vulnerable to severe disease and death from whooping cough.
When you get your vaccine while pregnant, it is still critical that your baby gets all his vaccines according to the recommended schedule pdf icon.
Getting A Tdap Vaccine During Pregnancy Passes Protection To Your Baby
After receiving a Tdap vaccine, your body creates protective antibodies and passes some of them to your baby before birth. These antibodies provide your baby some short-term protection against whooping cough in early life. These antibodies can also protect your baby from some of the more serious complications, including hospitalization, that come along with getting whooping cough.
The recommended time to get the shot is during your 27ththrough 36th week of pregnancy, preferably during the earlier part of this time period.
Protective antibodies are at their highest about 2 weeks after getting the vaccine, but it takes time to pass them to your baby. So the preferred time to get a Tdap vaccine is early in your third trimester.
The amount of whooping cough antibodies in your body decreases over time. That is why CDC recommends you get a Tdap vaccine during each pregnancy, even if your pregnancies are only a year or two apart. Doing so allows each of your babies to get the greatest number of protective antibodies and best protection possible.
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Can You Catch Whooping Cough If You’ve Already Gotten The Vaccine
Unlike some vaccines, the whooping cough vaccine may not protect you against the disease for life. You may become less immune 5 to10 years after your last childhood vaccine.
CDC: “Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis Vaccines: What You Need to Know.”
CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
CDC: “Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis Vaccines: What You Need to Know.”
CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
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Other Answers On:
Do Adults Need Whooping Cough Vaccine
Whooping cough infections tend to affect babies more often and more severely than other people. However, older children and adults can also contract this illness.
Getting the whooping cough vaccine will lower your chances of getting the disease. In turn, this will help prevent you from passing the disease on to infants and other people around you.
The Tdap vaccine also reduces your risk of contracting diphtheria and tetanus.
However, the vaccines protective effects wear off over time.
Thats why the
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How Long Will Your Vaccination Protect Your Baby From Whooping Cough
The immunity your newborn baby gets from your vaccination will help protect it through the very early weeks of life until it can have its first routine vaccination at 2 months of age. Your baby will still need the full course of 3 routine whooping cough vaccinations to protect them until they have their pre-school booster dose 3 years later.
Immunisation Against Whooping Cough
In Victoria, the whooping cough vaccine is only available in a number of combined vaccines that also contain protection against other serious and potentially fatal diseases. The type of combined vaccine used for immunisation will depend on the person’s age group. Children need to follow the full schedule of vaccines to be fully protected.In Victoria, immunisation against whooping cough is free for:
- children at two , four and six months of age in the form of a diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine
- children at 18 months of age in the form of a diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough vaccine
- children at four years of age in the form of a diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and polio vaccine
- adolescents in Year 7 at secondary school adolescents receive a booster dose of diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough vaccine . The dose can also be given by a doctor or at a council community immunisation session
- pregnant women from 20 weeks gestation during every pregnancy, from 20 weeks gestation, pregnant women receive a dose of diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough vaccine
- partners of women in the third trimester of pregnancy, if the partner has not received a whooping-cough-containing booster in the last ten years
- parents or guardians, if their baby is under six months of age and they have not received a whooping-cough-containing vaccine in the last ten years.
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If The Vaccine Doesn’t Last Very Long Why Should I Get It
The vaccine works very well for the first couple of years. Even after five years, children still have moderate protection from whooping cough. Infants usually get whooping cough from a family member or caregiver and are at greatest risk for getting very sick and potentially dying from whooping cough. People who are vaccinated and still get whooping cough usually have milder, shorter illnesses, and are less likely to spread the disease to others, like babies and pregnant women.