Getting vaccinated against pertussis (whooping cough)

Getting vaccinated against pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is crucial to protect yourself and those around you from this highly contagious respiratory disease. Pertussis is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis and can cause severe coughing fits, which can lead to hospitalization and even death, especially among infants and young children. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about getting vaccinated against pertussis.

What is Pertussis?

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Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease that is spread by coughing or sneezing. The disease can cause severe coughing fits, which can last for several weeks, and can be especially dangerous for infants and young children. In severe cases, pertussis can cause pneumonia, seizures, and even death.

How is Pertussis Prevented?

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Pertussis can be prevented through vaccination. The pertussis vaccine is usually given as part of a combination vaccine that also protects against diphtheria and tetanus.

Who Should Get Vaccinated?

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all children receive the pertussis vaccine as part of their routine immunizations. The vaccine is usually given in five doses, starting at two months of age. The vaccine is also recommended for pregnant women, healthcare workers, and anyone who will be in close contact with infants or young children.

How Effective is the Pertussis Vaccine?

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The pertussis vaccine is highly effective, with studies showing that it can reduce the risk of getting pertussis by up to 90%. However, the effectiveness of the vaccine can decrease over time, so booster shots may be needed to maintain immunity.

What Are the Side Effects of the Pertussis Vaccine?

Whooping Cough Study May Offer Clue on Surge The New York TimesSource: www.nytimes.com

Like all vaccines, the pertussis vaccine can cause side effects, although these are usually mild and go away on their own. Common side effects include redness, swelling, or pain at the injection site, fever, and fussiness. More serious side effects, such as seizures or allergic reactions, are rare.

When Should I Get Vaccinated?

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You should get vaccinated against pertussis according to the CDC’s recommended schedule. For children, the vaccine is usually given at two, four, and six months of age, followed by booster shots at 15-18 months and again at 4-6 years of age. Pregnant women should receive the vaccine during each pregnancy, preferably between 27 and 36 weeks of gestation.

FAQ

Pertussis Diagnosis in 2018 Medical ForumSource: mforum.com.au

1. Is the pertussis vaccine safe?

Whooping Cough Cases Double in Indiana in a Year, Prompting a Call toSource: www.nytimes.com

Yes, the pertussis vaccine is safe. Like all vaccines, it has been extensively tested for safety and efficacy before being approved for use.

2. Can adults get pertussis?

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Yes, adults can get pertussis, although the disease is more common among children.

3. How long does the pertussis vaccine last?

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The effectiveness of the pertussis vaccine can decrease over time, so booster shots may be needed to maintain immunity.

4. Can I get the pertussis vaccine if I am allergic to eggs?

BacktoSchool Immunization Toolkit SCDHECSource: www.scdhec.gov

Yes, the pertussis vaccine is safe for people with egg allergies.

5. Can I get pertussis if I have been vaccinated?

Whooping Cough Study May Offer Clue on Surge The New York TimesSource: www.nytimes.com

While the pertussis vaccine is highly effective, it is not 100% effective. There is still a small risk of getting pertussis even if you have been vaccinated.

6. Do I need a pertussis booster shot?

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Booster shots may be needed to maintain immunity, especially among adults and healthcare workers who may be at higher risk of exposure to pertussis.

7. Can I get the pertussis vaccine if I am pregnant?

Pertussis Diagnosis in 2018 Medical ForumSource: mforum.com.au

Yes, the pertussis vaccine is safe for pregnant women and is recommended to protect both the mother and the baby.

8. Can I get pertussis from the vaccine?

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No, it is not possible to get pertussis from the vaccine. The vaccine contains killed or weakened bacteria, which cannot cause the disease.

Pros

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The pertussis vaccine is highly effective at preventing pertussis, which can be a severe and even life-threatening disease, especially for infants and young children. The vaccine is safe and has been extensively tested for safety and efficacy.

Tips

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Make sure to follow the CDC’s recommended schedule for getting vaccinated against pertussis and talk to your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or questions.

Summary

What Is Whooping Cough Franciscan HealthSource: www.franciscanhealth.org

Getting vaccinated against pertussis is crucial to protect yourself and those around you from this highly contagious respiratory disease. The pertussis vaccine is safe and highly effective, although booster shots may be needed to maintain immunity. The vaccine is recommended for all children and for adults who may be in close contact with infants or young children.