Last updated on February 20th, 2020 at 10:59 am

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 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.

Immunization Action Coalition offers free information and downloads for healthcare providers, coalitions, and parents.

Personal Testimonial: Abe

Personal Testimonial: Messa

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia on DTap

Surround Your Baby with Protection

2021 Pennsylvania Immunization Coalition
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The PAIC web site provides immunization information for your general knowledge and is in no way intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding immunizations.

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