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Pertussis (whooping cough)

Prevention

How can pertussis infections be prevented?

The pertussis vaccine is given by needle and it is very safe. Side effects of a pertussis vaccine are very mild and usually go away within a few days.

A child under 6 years old needs five doses of the pertussis vaccine, starting at 2 months of age. Protection from the vaccine fades over time, so it's important to get a booster dose.

You may need a booster dose for pertussis if:

  • you are a teen between 14 and 16 years
  • you are an adult and you were not immunized against pertussis
  • you are past 26 weeks of pregnancy and require your adult booster dose

If you are in regular contact with an infant, it is very important to be immunized. If you require a booster vaccine, make sure to get it at least 2 weeks before being in contact with the baby.