About Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

What is Pertussis (Whooping Cough)?

Whooping cough (pertussis) is an infection of the respiratory system caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis (or B. pertussis). It mainly affects babies younger than 6 months old who aren't yet protected by immunizations, and kids 11 to 18 years old whose immunity has started to fade.

Whooping cough (also called pertussis) is a bacterial infection of the lungs and breathing tubes. It spreads very easily. It is also known as pertussis or the 100-day cough, and is a highly contagious bacterial disease.


The whooping cough (Pertussis) vaccination is only available as a combined inoculation in the UK (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis and Polio). It is an inactivated vaccination.

The vaccination is normally administered as three doses at 2, 3 and 4 months of age during the standard UK childhood vaccine programme. A further dose is given with the pre-school boosters.

Immunity to whooping cough will decrease naturally over time, so re-infection can occur after vaccination. As immunity falls as a consequence of natural infection also, vaccination can be given to individuals who have had whooping cough infection at some time in the past.

Inclusions criteria

The whooping cough vaccination can be given to clients over ten years old and :

To pregnant clients to protect their new-born babies from whooping cough

To individuals who had contact with others who have the condition and had their last vaccination more than five years ago.

Boosting may be needed for work in the USA or Australia or when residing in these countries long term.

For travellers to areas with a recent outbreak of whooping cough and who had their previous dose of the vaccination more than ten years ago.

For those who have had the whooping cough vaccination more than 10 years ago and are often in close contact with young children or pregnant women


For a list of our clinics or to book a vaccine visit our CityDoc website at: https://www.citydoc.org.uk/travel-health-whooping-cough-vaccinations/