• Pertussis (whooping cough) can be a fatal disease, especially in infants1,2

    Parents can pass pertussis on to their babies unknowingly1,3-6

    Pertussis is also known as whooping cough7

    The name comes from the loud "whoop" sound as someone struggles to breathe.7

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    Submit your story to help spread the word about this devastating illness and help raise awareness of adult pertussis vaccination.

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    A rising threat of pertussis

    The reported incidence of infant pertussis in the United States has increased almost 17 times since 1979.9

    See the stats

    Families spread it

    Babies who catch pertussis, often get the disease from those who are closest to them.4-6

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    Gavin started coughing, just occasionally, one cough here, one cough there.

    Pertussis can be a fatal cough

    Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious bacterial disease that can be fatal for infants.1, 2

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    Whooping cough symptoms

    What may seem like the start of a common cold could be the serious symptoms of whooping cough.7

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  • We thought our childhood vaccinations had us covered.

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    Whooping cough is highly contagious

    You could pass pertussis to your baby.

    If one member of a household has it, there's a 80% to 100% chance that other susceptible household members will catch it.1,2

    Adult immunity wears off

    Adults are susceptible to pertussis, because the vaccine you received as a child wanes over time, after 5-10 years.2

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    Infants are at risk for pertussis

    Even when you get your baby vaccinated, he or she may not be fully protected until they have received at least 3 doses of the infant pertussis vaccine.11

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    Football team passes around pertussis

    In Pike County, Arkansas, an outbreak of pertussis occurred among members of a school football team.12
  • Ask your doctor about the adult pertussis vaccine and get your booster today.

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    Pertussis is preventable

    One model suggests that vaccinating family members of newborns could prevent 76% of pertussis cases in infants younger than 3 months.13

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    Questions for your doctor

    Talk to your doctor about the Tdap pertussis booster and make an appointment to get vaccinated.

    Ask your doctor:

    1. How will getting a pertussis booster (Tdap) help protect my baby?

    2. If I got vaccinated when I was a child, why do I need to do this again as an adult?

    3. Who else should get vaccinated to help protect my baby from pertussis?

    4. When is the best time to get vaccinated?

    5. Will I experience any side effects from the Tdap booster?

    6. Are there any other steps I should take to help protect my baby from pertussis (whooping cough)?

    7. What other diseases should I get vaccinated against (ie, hepatitis A and B, measles, mumps, rubella, influenza, pneumonia, meningitis, chicken pox/zoster)?

  • Even when you get your baby vaccinated, he or she may not be fully protected until he or she has received at least 3 doses of the DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis) vaccine.11 Until babies have received the infant series of immunizations, they are most vulnerable to pertussis.1 You can create a 'cocoon' of protection around babies by making sure your infant is fully vaccinated and by getting those who are closest to your baby to receive a single dose of the adult pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine.2,7

    Image: Babies need to be protected from pertussis too. 83% of deaths from pertussis occur in babies under 3 months.

    Adults need to get vaccinated, too

    Parents, siblings, and other caregivers of infants are often the ones who unknowingly spread pertussis to babies.1,3-6 That's why it's so important that adults and adolescents, especially those in close contact with an infant, receive a single dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis) vaccine.2,10 Click here for the most current CDC guidelines.10

    Babies are at risk for pertussis

    Nationally, pertussis is on the rise.8 This disease is potentially fatal, especially in infants.1,2 In 2008, 16 of the 18 deaths from pertussis in the US were in babies aged 3 months and younger.8

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    Follow the infant immunization schedule

    Parents need to make sure their children complete the full series of immunizations. It's a known fact that DTaP immunization rates drop between the third and fourth dose which means kids are not fully protected.15

    Read more      Download the schedule

    Prevention is the best defense

    The best way to help protect babies against pertussis is to get the DTaP vaccine.10

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    Find out more about childhood vaccines

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has the latest news and information on the importance of childhood immunization.

    Go to the site