Whooping Cough | Prevention


What can I do to prevent whooping cough?

Vaccination against whooping cough is part of the normal early childhood shots and boosters that children get before grade school. Children aren’t adequately protected until they’ve had at least three shots, which is why very young children are more at-risk. A total of 5 shots is recommended for children by age 6. Protection from the childhood whooping cough vaccines begins to wear off 5-10 years after vaccination.

Health experts, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Family Physicians, recommend that most teens and adults get the Tdap booster vaccination for continued protection against whooping cough if they have not been vaccinated or if their shots are not up to date. Ask your doctor to make sure your vaccinations are up to date.


Pertussis: A Disease Affecting All Ages by DS Gregory, M.D. (American Family Physician August 01, 2006, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20060801/420.html)

Funding and support for this material have been provided by GlaxoSmithKline.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 05/14
Created: 09/06