Whooping Cough (pertussis)
Schedule: All infants, children, and teens should be vaccinated against whooping cough. The vaccine for infants and children is combined with diphtheria and tetanus vaccine as DTaP. The schedule is 4 doses at 2, 4, 6 and 12-15 months of age. A DTaP booster dose is recommended at 4-6 years. The adolescent and adult vaccine is called Tdap. A dose of Tdap is recommended for all adolescents at 11-12 years of age. Pregnant women need a dose of Tdap in the third trimester of every pregnancy to protect themselves and to transfer pertussis immunity to their newborn infant. Adults should also get a one-time dose of Tdap to protect themselves, their families and friends, and infants they may be in contact with.
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease. It is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.
Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe. After cough fits, someone with pertussis often needs to take deep breaths, which result in a “whooping” sound. Pertussis can affect people of all ages, but can be very serious, even deadly, for babies less than a year old.
The best way to protect against pertussis is by getting vaccinated.
CDC provides information and resources on Whooping Cough and vaccines.
Information for clinicians
Information for pregnant women
Information for public health professionals
Vaccines.gov provides resources from federal agencies for the general public and their communities about vaccines across the lifespan.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia provides questions and answers about whooping cough from the Vaccine Education Center.