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.
Why Are Pregnant Women Advised To Have The Vaccine
Getting vaccinated while you’re pregnant is highly effective in protecting your baby from developing whooping cough in the first few weeks of their life.
The immunity you get from the vaccine will pass to your baby through the placenta and provide passive protection for them until they are old enough to be routinely vaccinated against whooping cough at 8 weeks old.
Whooping Cough Most Commonly Occurs In Children But Can Affect Anyone At Any Age
While young children and teenagers are among the most affected, adults are also at risk of contracting and spreading whooping cough.
Pregnant women can provide short-term protection for their babies by getting the Tdap booster during pregnancy, but children need to build their own immunity after birth. For best protection against whooping cough, children need five doses of the DTaP vaccination. The CDC recommends the babys first dose beginning at 2 months old.
The best way to protect yourself is by getting vaccinated. This is especially necessary those who come into contact with babies less than 12 months old. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , about half of babies one year old and younger who contract whooping cough end up hospitalized. Young children are also at risk of other complications, such as pneumonia, dehydration and heart failure.
Its also important to know adults are at risk even if they were vaccinated as children. A primary reason for the resurgence of the illness is the one-two punch of a weakening of immunity in adults as they have aged, combined with a growing population of unvaccinated children. It is recommended that all adults ages 19-65 should receive a single “booster” vaccination, as well as adults aged 65 years and older who have not previously received a Tdap shot.
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Pregnancy And Whooping Cough Immunisation
A combination vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough is recommended from 20 to 32 weeks gestation in every pregnancy and at any time up to delivery. If the vaccine is given within two weeks of delivery, the newborn may not be adequately protected.
Read more about protecting your baby from whooping cough.
If you would like more information, ask your doctor.
How Many People Need To Be Immunized To Reach Community Immunity
Typically, more than 90 percent of a population must be vaccinated against a disease to produce general protection for the population. Since whooping cough vaccines don’t last a lifetime, and because it spreads so easily, we can’t rely on community immunity to protect us from this disease. Making sure you and those around you are up to date on whooping cough vaccine is your best chance to protect yourself and your family from this serious disease.
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Five Things To Know About Whooping Cough
- Health & Wellness
- Lung Health and Diseases
Before a vaccine was introduced in the late 1940s, pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough, was a leading cause of childhood illness and death in the United States. The vaccine was so effective that the number of cases in the U.S. went from more than a million diagnosed between 1940-1945, to less than 3,000 a year by the mid-1980s.
Over the past 25 years, however, pertussis has again become increasingly common due to incomplete vaccine coverage and people choosing not to get vaccinated at all. In recent years several states have reported significant outbreaks, with more than 100 deaths since 2010.
To help protect yourself and your family from pertussis, heres what you should know.
How Can I Protect My Child
You can protect your child by making sure they are vaccinated.
Your child will be vaccinated at 2, 4, 6 and 18 months, at age 4 to 6 years, and usually again in adolescence .
Adults should have one dose in their adult years, especially parents or grandparents of young children and people who work with young children. In most jurisdictions the adolescent and adult doses are provided free of charge.
Because this disease is so severe in very young babies, vaccination of all pregnant women is now recommended. Antibodies produced by the mother are passed to the fetus before birth, protecting the baby for the first few months of life. Young babies can also be protected if everyone around them, including adults, has been appropriately vaccinated, but that does not seem to protect them as well as vaccinating the pregnant mother.
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Pertussis Is Known For The Distinct Whooping Sound Made At The End Of A Coughing Episode Giving It The Name
Although pertussis usually starts with typical cold-like symptoms, it is often not diagnosed until after one to two weeks, when the illness progresses from a mild cough into the second stage of persistent and rapid coughing spells. This stage is known as the paroxysmal stage.
The paroxysmal stage is categorized by violent coughing spasms that often result in vomiting and is followed by a whooping sound. These coughing episodes may occur a few times a day up to several times an hour and are often worse at night and can interfere with sleep. This stage can last up to three months.
How Is Pertussis Treated
- If the illness is discovered early enough, before the coughing spells start, antibiotics may help.
- If treatment is started later, antibiotics wont help. This is because the bacteria have already done their damage. But antibiotics may still be given to prevent the bacteria spreading to someone else.
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How Effective Is The Whooping Cough Vaccine
The whooping cough vaccine is highly effective when people get all the recommended doses. In children, DTaP protects:
- About 98 out of 100 children for at least a year after the fifth shot.
- About 7 out of 10 children for five years after the fifth shot.
In adults, Tdap protects:
- About 7 in 10 people for the first year after the shot.
- About 4 in 10 people for four years after the shot.
When pregnant women get Tdap, the vaccine protects:
- More than 3 out of 4 babies from getting whooping cough in the first 2 months of life.
- About 9 out of 10 babies from getting severe whooping cough infections that require hospitalization.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Pertussis vaccines protect children, teens and adults from whooping cough. Whooping cough is a respiratory disease that causes uncontrollable coughing fits followed by a whoop sound. In babies, whooping cough can lead to severe complications. All children, adults and pregnant women should get the whooping cough vaccine. Young children receive the vaccine as a series of five shots before age 7. Starting around age 11 to 12, teens and adults receive a booster pertussis vaccine every 10 years.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/25/2021.
Do I Need To Pay For Whooping Cough Immunisation
Vaccines covered by the NIP are provided at no cost for people who are eligible. See the NIP Schedule to find out which vaccines you or your family are eligible to receive.
Eligible people get the vaccine at no cost, but your health care provider may charge a consultation fee for the visit. You can check this when you make your appointment.
Pregnant women can get the whooping cough vaccine at no cost through the National Immunisation Program.
If you are not eligible to receive the vaccine at no cost, you may need to pay for it. The cost depends on the type of vaccine, the formula and where you buy it from. Your immunisation provider can give you more information.
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Who Is At Risk
Whooping cough can affect people at any age, but those at high risk of catching the disease include:
- babies less than six months old who are not yet old enough to be fully vaccinated
- people living in the same household as someone with whooping cough
- people who have not had a whooping cough booster in the last 10 years.
Babies have the highest risk of serious disease. They are more likely to need to go to hospital or die from whooping cough. About one in every 200 babies under 6 months old who get whooping cough dies from pneumonia or brain damage.
Older children and adults may get a milder case of the disease.
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.
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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
What Happens If Children And Teens Haven’t Gotten All Of Their Scheduled Whooping Cough Vaccines
Not getting recommended vaccines on time puts children and teens at higher risk for getting and spreading whooping cough. Vaccination is the best protection we have against whooping cough, so it’s important that everyoneâchildren and adultsâget their scheduled whooping cough vaccines.
- If your child is younger than seven years and isn’t up to date, talk to his or her healthcare provider right away about getting caught up on DTaP vaccines.
- If your child is seven to ten years old and hasn’t followed the recommended immunization schedule, he or she needs a Tdap vaccine.
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How To Recognize And Treat Whooping Cough
If you’re not vaccinated against whooping cough or if you’re overdue for a booster vaccine, you will be more likely to catch this illness. It’s spread when someone who has it sneezes, sniffles, or coughs.
Early symptoms are like those of the common cold. After a week or so, you get a cough that may become severe and last for many weeks. If you gasp for air after a coughing fit, you may hear the telltale “whoop” sound. This is more common in kids than adults. Infants may have a persistent, staccato cough and then turn blue and even stop breathing. They do not typically make the “whoop” sound.
If you were immunized as a child, you will likely have a milder case. You might have light cold symptoms or none at all. The cough may be severe or just annoying. You may even spread whooping cough without ever knowing you have it.
Your doctor can check you for whooping cough with a simple nasal swab test. Whooping cough is caused by bacteria and should be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics may ease your symptoms and prevent spread, especially if you take them during the first few weeks of the cough.
Causes Of Whooping Cough
The Bordetella pertussis bacterium is spread by airborne droplets from the upper respiratory tract and is highly infectious. The time from infection to appearance of symptoms is between six and 20 days. A person is infectious for the first 21 days of their cough or until they have had five days of a 10-day course of antibiotics. In countries where immunisation rates are high, the risk of catching whooping cough is low.In Victoria, most reports of whooping cough currently occur in adults over 20 years of age. Recent research has shown that family members, household contacts and carers are the main source of whooping cough infection in babies.
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Will My Doctor Remind Me To Get Vaccinated If I Dont Have A Primary Care Doctor Where Can I Get Vaccinated
Its always important to be proactive when it comes to your health and well-being. Dont wait for a reminder from your doctor.
Its a good idea to ask your healthcare provider if youre up-to-date on your vaccinations at every visit.
If you dont have a primary care doctor, Tdap and other recommended vaccines are offered by many doctors, pharmacies, health centers, health departments, and travel clinics.
You can use the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services online vaccine finder to locate a nearby provider.
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Why Is Whooping Cough Making A Comeback
Whooping cough, a potentially life-threatening childhood illness, all but disappeared in the 1940s after a vaccine was developed. But in recent decades, the illness has been making a comeback. Changes in the vaccine and waning immunity are likely contributing to the resurgence of the illness, according to experts.
Are There Whooping Cough Outbreaks
Unlike polio, whooping cough was never eradicated in the U.S. This means there are always some active cases of whooping cough, which puts everyone at risk for outbreaks. There are regular outbreaks every few years that are growing in size. This is happening for many reasons, including:
Better tests for diagnosing whooping cough
Improved tracking and reporting methods
Newer vaccinations that provide shorter immunity than older vaccines
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Who Else Is The Vaccine Recommended For
Pregnant women should get a whooping cough booster vaccination from 16 weeks’ gestation onwards. At this time, the mother can pass her immunity on to the baby, helping protect them until they are old enough to be vaccinated themselves.
At age 45, adults are eligible for combined tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough vaccine if they have not previously received four doses of tetanus vaccine.
At age 65, adults are eligible for combined tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough vaccine, which will replace the existing combined tetanus and diphtheria vaccine from late August 2020 as stocks of the latter run out.
Other adults can receive booster vaccinations for a cost. Immunisation is recommended if:
- your work involves regular contact with infants
- you live with or care for infants under 12 months of age even if the baby has been fully immunised.
Boosters should also be considered for other people who are vulnerable to whooping cough and at high risk of severe illness or complications .
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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Whooping Cough Bounces Back
A new type of pertussis vaccine introduced in the late 1990s may have led to the return of a disease that was nearly eradicated 40 years ago. Public opposition to vaccination hasnt helped matters.
Whooping cough was on the ropes at the time. Whole-cell vaccines had established a semblance of herd immunity, says Stacey Martin, a CDC epidemiologist. With so many people protected, the pathogen had trouble getting a foothold in the population. This respite allowed people to focus on other matters, such as vaccine side effects.
Caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacterium, whooping cough is emerging from the shadows in response to a fateful switch of vaccines embraced in the 1990s, just when it seemed the disease was licked. The vaccine used today has proved less potent than its predecessor. Meanwhile, curious changes are appearing in the pertussis bacterium itself, possibly in response to the weaker vaccine, and they may further undermine its effect. To top it off, a phobia against vaccines has induced some parents to skip or delay their kids shots, contributing to the diseases spread.
Video advice: Pertussis causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology
What is pertussis? Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial infection and is characterized by fits of high-pitched coughing. Find more videos at http://osms.it/more.