Whooping Cough and Newborns

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Published on July 18, 2018

Whooping Cough and Newborns

photo of baby coughing

What is Pertussis and Whooping Cough?

photo of baby coughingPertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease that is usually spread by coughing or sneezing. It can affect people at any age, with the greatest risk of being life-threatening to infants, who are too young to be well protected by vaccines.

Protecting Infants

The California Department of Public Health recommends that pregnant women receive a Tdap vaccine (whooping cough) in the third trimester of every pregnancy. You can also form a “cocoon” of protection for your infant during the first 6 months of life by making sure that all family members, caregivers,and visitors  receive the Tdap vaccine. PIH Health Pharmacist, Tracy Tran says “it is important that parents, grandparents, and other family members get a Tdap vaccine at least two weeks before visiting a newborn to prevent getting and spreading whooping cough to the baby”. Check with your primary care physician or one of our PIH Health pharmacies about getting your vaccine.

Whooping Cough Vaccine Schedule

 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children receive the whooping cough (DTaP) vaccine at the following ages:

1 dose at 2, 4, and 6 months (1st booster)

1 dose at 15-18 months (2nd booster)

1 dose at 4-6 years

Adults aged 19 years and older who previously did not receive a dose of Tdap as an adult or child should receive 1 dose of tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap). A dose of tetanus and diphtheria (Td) booster is recommended every 10 years for adults who have received the Tdap. 

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.