Whooping Cough Vaccination
Diptheria, Pertussis, Tetanus +/- Polio
Pertussis, more commonly known as Whooping Cough is a bacterial infection that affects the respiratory system (lungs and airways) and causes a severe and uncontrollable cough that can cause difficulty in breathing. The name Whooping Cough comes from the high-pitched “whoop” sound that is made when an infected patient takes a breath in. Whooping Cough is a serious disease in which symptoms can last for months, sometimes leading to pneumonia, brain damage and occasionally even death.
Whooping Cough is spread by having contact with an infected person’s breathing fluids, such as if they cough or sneeze close to you. It is a very contagious disease and in an unvaccinated household, 90% of people in contact with someone with whooping cough will catch it.
How is Whopping Cough diagnosed and treated?
If your Doctor believes that based on your symptoms it is possible you have Whooping Cough, they will arrange for tests including a nose or throat swab or a blood test for laboratory confirmation.
Whooping Cough can be treated with antibiotics to help reduce the risk of you spreading the disease to other people. Risk of spreading the disease lasts until 3 weeks after the cough starts or 5 days after commencement of antibiotics.
Other treatment options include getting plenty of rest, remaining hydrated and avoiding cigarette smoke.
How can I protect myself from Whooping Cough?
The most effective way to protect yourself from Whooping Cough is vaccination. This reduces the number of cases of the disease in the community and helps to protect those who are too young or unable to be vaccinated.
As Whooping Cough can be a very severe disease in babies it is recommended that pregnant women receive a vaccination in each pregnancy between 20-32 weeks gestation. After vaccination, Whooping Cough antibodies are passed from the mother to the unborn baby providing protection to the baby who is unable to be vaccinated themselves until they are 6 months old.
Those people who are commonly in contact with babies and young children such as grandparents, parents, and carers, should ensure that their protection against Whooping Cough is up to date.
Who can get vaccinated at National Pharmacies?
The Pertussis vaccine is available in combination with Diptheria and Tetanus and +/- Polio. Properly trained Pharmacist immunisers can vaccinate patients to protect them against Whooping Cough.
In South Australia – people over the age of 10 years
In Victoria – people over the age of 12 years (not in combination with Polio)
In New South Wales – people over the age of 5 years (not in combination with Polio)
Whooping Cough Vaccination Pricing: Members from $49 per dose, Retail Price from $63 per dose.