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.
What Are The Side Effects
Most children dont have any side effects from DTaP or Tdap. The side effects that do occur are usually mild, and may include:
- Redness, swelling, or pain where the shot was given
More serious side effects are very rare but with DTaP can include:
- A fever over 105 degrees
- Nonstop crying for 3 hours or more
Some preteens and teens might faint after getting Tdap or any other shot.
To prevent fainting and injuries related to fainting, adolescents should be seated or lying down during vaccination and remain in that position for 15 minutes after the vaccine is given.
- Whooping cough is a very serious respiratory infection.
- It is caused by Bordetella pertussis bacteria.
- It can cause violent coughing fits.
- Whooping cough is most harmful for young babies and can be deadly.
Problems That Could Happen After Getting Any Injected Vaccine
- People sometimes faint after a medical procedure, including vaccination. Sitting or lying down for about 15 minutes after receiving a vaccine can help prevent fainting, and injuries caused by a fall. Tell your healthcare professional if you or your child:
- Feels dizzy
- Has vision changes
- Has ringing in the ears
- Health departments
- Other community locations such as schools and religious centers
Federally funded health centers can also provide services if you dont have a regular source of health care. Locate one near you. You can also contact your state health department to learn more about where to get vaccines in your community.
When receiving any vaccine, ask the provider to record the vaccine in the state or local registry, if available. This helps healthcare professionals at future encounters know what vaccines you or your child have already received.
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Were There Documented Whooping Cough Cases In Healthcare Workers During The 2012 Epidemic
Yes, there were several cases of pertussis in healthcare workers during Washington’s 2012 whooping cough epidemic. We recommend that all healthcare workers have a Tdap vaccination, stay home when they’re sick, and use appropriate personal protective equipment to prevent infection when caring for patients with respiratory infections like whooping cough and flu.
Why Should I Get Vaccinated If I Don’t Have Close Contact With Babies
While you may not have direct contact with babies, you may be around them in public places such as the grocery store or the library. Babies often catch whooping cough from an adult or family member who may not even know they have the disease. Babies who get whooping cough often have to be hospitalized and could die.
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You May Experience Side Effects From The Tdap Vaccine
Most side effects are mild, meaning they do not affect daily activities. They also get better on their own in a few days. The most common side effects from the Tdap vaccine include
- Redness, swelling, pain, and tenderness where you got the shot
In adults who have received 2 doses of the Tdap vaccine, the most commonly reported side effect was pain where they got the shot.
Severe side effects are extremely rare, especially in adults.
When To Delay Or Avoid Dtap Immunization
Simple colds or other minor illnesses should not prevent immunization, but your doctor might choose to reschedule the vaccine if your child has a more serious illness.
Talk to your doctor about whether getting the vaccine is a good idea if your child had any of the following after an earlier DTaP shot:
- a brain or nervous-system problem, like coma or seizures
- Guillain-Barré syndrome
- severe pain or swelling of a whole arm or leg
Your doctor might give a partial vaccine or no vaccine, or may decide that the benefits of vaccinating your child outweigh the potential risks.
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Do The Benefits Of The Tetanus Vaccine Outweigh Its Risks
Although tetanus bacteria are everywhere, tetanus is an uncommon cause of disease in the United States. But its probably not as rare as you may think. Between 2006 and 2016, an average of 28 cases of tetanus was reported each year in the United States with three or four deaths. On the other hand, although the tetanus vaccine can be a very rare cause of a short-lived allergic reaction called “anaphylaxis,” the tetanus vaccine does not cause death. Therefore, the benefits of the tetanus vaccine outweigh its risks. In addition, because most of the disease and death from tetanus occur in the elderly, it is important to get booster immunizations every 10 years.
So How Can I Protect My Baby
The only way you can help protect your baby from getting whooping cough in their first few weeks after birth is by having the whooping cough vaccination yourself while you are pregnant.
After vaccination, your body produces antibodies to protect against whooping cough. You will then pass some immunity to your unborn baby.
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What Is Pertussis Vaccine
Pertussis vaccine offers protection against the bacterial infection pertussis . It works by causing the body to produce antibodies against the bacteria responsible for the pertussis infection and in this way protects against the disease.
Immunity to pertussis develops within 10 to 14 days of receiving the vaccine. However, the effectiveness of the vaccine lessens with time and protection can be expected to last between 5 to 10 years in children.
If pertussis vaccination is given after you have already become infected with pertussis, the vaccination will be ineffective in preventing whooping cough. Read more about whooping cough.
If I Had The Dtp Vaccine As A Child Do I Need The Booster Vaccine For Pertussis
Yes. Adults who have not previously gotten the Tdap vaccine should receive a single dose. Pregnant women should get the Tdap vaccine between 27 and 36 weeks gestation during each pregnancy because pertussis can be fatal to young infants. Although any time during this window is fine, public health personnel suggest earlier rather than later during the window for maximum protection for the baby.
The Tdap vaccine is also recommended for all adolescents 11 or 12 years old.
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What Is Pertussis
Pertussis is a common disease that causes prolonged cough illness in children, adolescents and adults. Pertussis is particularly serious in infants. This cough can cause a person to vomit or stop breathing for a short period of time. The cough can last for weeks and make it hard to eat, drink or even breathe. Pertussis can cause serious complications such as pneumonia. Pertussis can also cause brain damage and seizures, especially in babies.
Pertussis spreads very easily from an infected person to others through coughing or sneezing. Adults have been increasingly recognized as the main source for pertussis infection in infants and young children. Infected adults and adolescents can pass on the disease to infants not yet fully protected and who are at greater risk of complications from pertussis.
What Is A Td Shot
Td vaccines are similar to Tdap shots. However, they only protect against tetanus and diphtheria not pertussis. Td shots are recommended for people over 7 years old as booster shots. Theyre not recommended if you havent been vaccinated before. Td vaccines were the original tetanus boosters until Tdap shots became available in 2005.
The Td shot versions available are Tenivac and its generic, TDVAX.
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Where Is It Found
Pertussis is found in all regions of the world and, despite established immunisation programs over the past 50 years, it remains a challenging disease to control. One major stumbling block is the waning of immunity gained from immunisation or infection over time, leading to renewed susceptibility to infection. Parents are the most likely source of infection for infants and the highest rates of disease occur in infants under 6 months and children aged between 5 and 9 years.
Outbreaks are cyclical, generally happening every 3 to 4 years. The largest outbreak of whooping cough since reporting began in 1991 occurred between 2008 and 2012 in all states and territories of Australia.
Who Should Not Get The Tdap
- a serious allergic reaction to a previous dose of a vaccine containing diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio
- a history of an allergic reaction to any part of the vaccine, including aluminum phosphate , 2-phenoxyethanol
- a history of development of severe redness, swelling and ulceration at an injection site following a previous dose of vaccine containing tetanus and diphtheria
- a history of encephalopathy of undetermined cause within seven days of administration of a vaccine with pertussis components
- a history of progressive or unstable neurological conditions or
- a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome , with no other identified cause, within eight weeks of a previous tetanus vaccine dose.
Consult with your health care provider if you are considering getting the vaccine and:
- have a severe infection with a fever higher than 38°C or
- are pregnant or breastfeeding.
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How Can We Facilitate Cocooning For Pertussis
Regardless of when a woman receives the Tdap vaccine, efforts should be made to ensure that all family members and caregivers who will have close contact with the newborn receive a dose of Tdap if they are not current with vaccination guidelines, in order to provide the protection of cocooning.
Health care providers should recommend Tdap vaccination of family members during prenatal care visits and at the time of delivery. Ideally, the pregnant woman should be vaccinated with Tdap during pregnancy and all family members should be vaccinated at least 2 weeks before coming in contact with the newborn.
What Are The Side Effects Of The Whooping Cough Vaccine
You may have some mild side effects such as swelling, redness or tenderness where the vaccine is injected in your upper arm, just as you would with any vaccine. These only last a few days. Other side effects can include fever, irritation at the injection site, swelling of the vaccinated arm, loss of appetite, irritability and headache. Serious side effects are extremely rare.
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Pertussis: A Tale Of Two Vaccines
Pertussis, or whooping cough, has been identified since at least the Middle Ages as a disease that affects mostly infants and children, but can also affect teenagers and adults. The symptoms in the early stages of illness are similar to a cold, and then develop into a characteristic cough accompanied with gasping breaths . It is highly infectious early 20th-century statistics claimed an average death rate of 10% in children.
A therapeutic vaccine of uncertain efficacy was developed shortly after the discovery of the causative agent, Bordetella pertussis, in 1906. However, it was not until 1939 that an effective preventive vaccine was designed. Thanks to improved cultivation methods, Pearl Kendrick, Grace Eldering and Loney Gordon developed a highly effective, whole-cell inactivated vaccine . In the late 1940s the pertussis vaccine was combined with diphtheria and tetanus toxoids to become DTP and was widely adopted shortly afterwards.
The whole-cell pertussis vaccine was blamed for causing various intellectual and physical disabilities, including in a TV documentary. This precipitated the formation of Dissatisfied Parents Together, which would eventually become the National Vaccine Information Center, and remains to this day a major source of disinformation about vaccines in the USA.
In the meantime, several countries are experimenting with new vaccination schedules and vaccination of pregnant women, and the search for a better vaccine continues.
Diphtheria Tetanus And Whooping Cough Combination Vaccines
Diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough combination vaccines help protect you against the following diseases:
- Diphtheria – commonly causes a thick membrane to grow in the throat restricting breathing and can damage the bodys tissues, such as the heart and nerves.
- Tetanus – causes stiffness in the muscles of the body, affecting the jaw and causes severe muscle spasms which can affect breathing.
- Whooping cough – causes episodes of severe coughing, causing difficulty with breathing and oxygen supply to the brain.
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Preparations Authorized For Use In Canada
- ADACEL®, Sanofi Pasteur Ltd.
- ADACEL®-POLIO , Sanofi Pasteur Ltd.
- BOOSTRIX® , GlaxoSmithKline Inc.
- BOOSTRIX®-POLIO , GlaxoSmithKline Inc.
- INFANRIX®-IPV , GlaxoSmithKline Inc.
- INFANRIX®-IPV/Hib , GlaxoSmithKline Inc.
- INFANRIX hexaTM® , GlaxoSmithKline Inc.
- PEDIACEL® , Sanofi Pasteur Ltd.
- QUADRACEL® , Sanofi Pasteur Ltd.
In Canada, pertussis vaccine is only available as an acellular preparation in a combination vaccine. The amount of acellular pertussis antigen present varies by product. Preparations containing higher concentrations of acellular pertussis antigen are administered for primary immunization of infants and young children less than 7 years of age and may be administered as a booster for children 4 years to less than 7 years of age. Preparations containing a lower concentration may also be administered as a booster dose to children 4 years to less than 7 years of age and are the recommended product for older children, adolescents and adults .
For complete prescribing information, consult the product leaflet or information contained within Health Canada’s authorized product monographs available through the Drug Product Database. Refer to Table 1 Contents of Immunizing Agents Available in Canada in Part 1 for a list of all vaccines available for use in Canada and their contents.
Which Whooping Cough Vaccine Will I Be Given
As there is no whooping cough-only vaccine, the vaccine you’ll be given also protects against polio, diphtheria and tetanus. The vaccine is called Boostrix IPV.
Boostrix IPV is similar to the 4-in-1 vaccine the pre-school booster that’s routinely given to children before they start school.
You can read the manufacturer’s patient information leaflet for Boostrix IPV .
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Tetanus Diphtheria And Whooping Cough Vaccines
Tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough vaccinesTetanus, Quick facts
Tetanus Tetanus, or lockjaw, is a dangerous nerve ailment caused by the toxin of a common bacterium often found in soil. This bacterium can also exist in environments as diverse as animal excrement, house dust and operating rooms. It enters the body through cuts, scratches or wounds. Tetanus causes painful muscle tightening and stiffness throughout the body but most commonly involves the jaw and neck.
Diphtheria Diphtheria is a highly contagious disease caused by bacteria and is spread by coughing and sneezing. It is a respiratory disease that typically causes a sore throat, fever, swollen glands and weakness. It can also cause paralysis, heart failure and death.
Whooping cough Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a highly contagious illness spread by contact with droplets coughed out by someone with the disease or by contact with recently contaminated hard surfaces upon which the droplets have landed. Early symptoms include runny nose, nasal congestion and sneezing. After this stage, the most common symptom is intense bouts of coughing in which the gasping person makes a whoop sound when inhaling between coughs.
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.
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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.
What Is Recommended For A Pregnant Woman If There Is A Local Outbreak Of Pertussis In Her Community
She should receive a Tdap immunization as soon as possible.
In this clinical scenario, the need for protection from acute pertussis infection supersedes the benefit of administering the vaccine during the 2736-weeks-of-gestation window. The Tdap vaccine is considered safe to give at any time during pregnancy when indicated.
If the woman has been exposed to pertussis, she should be evaluated by her health care provider and also may receive antibiotic chemoprophylaxis. Other family members also should receive Tdap immunization for protection against the local outbreak after consulting with their respective health care providers.
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