Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Vaccination
Whooping cough — known medically as pertussis — is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. Although it initially resembles an ordinary cold, whooping cough may eventually turn more serious, particularly in infants. Whooping cough is most contagious before the coughing starts. The best way to prevent it is through vaccinations. The childhood vaccine is called DTaP. The whooping cough booster vaccine for adolescents and adults is called Tdap. Both protect against whooping cough, tetanus, and diphtheria.
Description | A respiratory disease caused by bacteria
Symptoms | Runny nose, sneezing, low grade fever, cough, similar to the common cold. After 1-2 weeks, may progress to stage characterized by bursts of numerous rapid coughs (paroxysms). A final recovery stage with coughing may last weeks or months.
Complications | Bacterial pneumonia and rib fracture. Other complications of adult pertussis occur rarely. Infants are at highest risk for apnea, pneumonia, seizures, encephalopathy, and death.
Transmission | Spread by coughing and sneezing.
Vaccine | Pertussis vaccine (contained in Tdap, DTP, and DTaP) can prevent this disease.
Who Needs to be Vaccinated?
Does my infant need this vaccine?
Yes, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends 5 doses of diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine for infants and children. One dose of DTaP vaccine is recommended at each of the following ages: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15-18 months, 4-6 years old. DTaP vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines.
Does my pre-teen or adolescent need the vaccine?
The preferred age for routine vaccination with Tdap is 11 or 12 years old. Adolescents aged 11 through 18 should receive a single dose of Tdap instead of Td for booster immunization against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis if they have completed the recommended childhood DTP/DTaP vaccination series.
As an adult, do I need the vaccine?
- If you are 19 through 64 years old and have not previously received a dose of Tdap, a single dose of Tdap should replace a single dose of Td for booster immunization if the most recent tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine was received at least 10 years earlier.
- Adults in close contact with an infant aged under 12 months who have not previously received Tdap should receive a dose of Tdap; an interval as short as 2 years since the most recent Td is suggested.
- Healthcare personnel in hospitals and ambulatory care settings with direct patient contact who have not previously received Tdap should receive a dose of Tdap; an interval as short as 2 years since the most recent Td is recommended.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
To protect your baby, you first need to protect yourself. To get vaccinated today, please contact your Primary Care Physician. To schedule an appointment at Woodland Healthcare, please call 530.668.2600.
2011 Pertussis Immunization Requirements for Students
For the 2011-12 school year only, all students entering 7th through 12th grades will need proof of a Tdap booster shot before starting school. This requirement:
- Begins July 1, 2011
- Will be met by the CDPH recommendation to receive one dose of Tdap vaccine on or after the 10th birthday
- Applies to all public and private schools
- Does not affect students enrolled in summer school
Beginning July 1, 2012, and beyond, all students entering the 7th grade will need proof of a Tdap booster shot before starting school.
For more information, please visit the California Department of Public Health web-site.