Travel Health – Whooping Cough Vaccinations
Available at our Flagship Clinics -Moorgate, Oxford Circus and Canary Wharf
Which CityDoc Clinics Provide the Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Vaccination ?
Greenwich (High Street)
Brighton and Hove
Cambridge (Mill Road)oh
Glasgow GP St Vincent
Leicester (Evington Road)
North Cheam (Sutton)
Scunthorpe (Cambridge Avenue)
Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Vaccination
The whooping cough (Pertussis) vaccination is only available as a combined innoculation 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.
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 vaccaintion more than five years ago.
- Boosting may be needed for work in the USA or Australia or when residing there 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
The vaccine is administered as a booster dose only for individuals who have had the full course of 3 doses of the vaccine during childood or had prior infection with whooping cough.
It is a single booster dose, which confers immunity for approximately 10 yrs.
Further doses of the vaccine can be given at 10 years if required. It is given intramuscularly.
- Under the age of 10
- History of severe allergic to a previous dose of pertussis, tetanus, diphtheria or polio containing vaccinations
- History of severe allergic to any ocomponents of the vaccination e.g. neomycin and polymyxin.
- History of encephalopathy within one week of receiving a previous pertussis containing vaccine.
- Acute illness with high temperature (above 38.5 ).
- Unstable neurological states
There is no evidence of harm to the unborn child from vaccinating . In fact the innoculation is given to pregnant women between 16 to 32 weeks to protect the new-born infant.
Although, there is no specific data on any adverse effects of whopping cough vaccines to breast fed infants, there is no evidence of harm in using inactivated vaccines in general for breast fed babies.
Common Side Effects
Localised reactions -includes redness, bruising, pain and swelling at the site of the injection.
Other general side effects include fever, headache, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Interactions with Other Vaccinations
The vaccine can be given at the same time or any time before or after other vaccinations including:
- Travel vaccine such as yellow fever, hepatitis A, Typhoid, Rabies
- Hepatitis B vaccine
- MMR Vaccine
- Chickenpox vaccine
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Pertussis Vaccine Do you use?
CityDoc provides Boosterix-IPV, which is a combination vaccine containing Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis and Poliomyelitis. It has a lower content of Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis and thus, is only used as a booster vaccination.
The vaccine is manufactured by GSK.
Is the vaccine Safe?
Pertussis containing vaccines have been used as part of the UK childhood immunisations programmes since 1957. The vaccine used by CityDoc contains acellular pertussis (contains components of the bacteria only) in line with Department if Health guidance as these have lower incidence of side effects. The vaccine is inactivated and thus, cannot cause any of the illnesses that is protects against.
The vaccine does not contain mercury.
What does the vaccine contain?
In addition to pertussis, diphtheria, polio and tetanus, the vaccine contains:
- Aluminium Hydroxide and Aluminium Phosphate
- Medium 199 (as stabilizer containing amino acids, mineral salts, vitamins and other substances)
- Sodium chloride
- Water for injections
If I have already had diphtheria, tetanus and polio vaccine recently, but now require pertussis, is it safe to have this vaccine?
The pertussis vaccine is only available as a combination vaccine (dTap/IPV or DTap). The current guidance is that a pertussis containing vaccine can be given if required, but it should be given at least 1 month after receiving a dose of Diphtheria/Tetanus/Polio vaccine.
If I have a cold, can I still go ahead and have the vaccination?
The vaccine can be given in minor illnesses without any significant fever. If a high temperature is present, then it is best to postpone the vaccine until you have recovered.
Am I infectious after the vaccine?
The vaccine is inactivated and thus, cannot cause infection in the vaccinated individual and nor is the vaccinated individual infections to others.
How safe is the vaccine in pregnancy?
The vaccine has been given to pregnant women in the UK since 2012 following increase in the incidence of whooping cough infections. The very young are more vulnerable to severe infection and even death from contracting the illness.
A study if 18,000 women who were given the pertussis containing vaccine during pregnancy showed that they had the same incidence of healthy births as non-vaccinated women. Additionally, there was no evidence of stillbirth or any other serious adverse effects in the vaccinated individuals.
Why can the vaccine not be given to children under 10 years?
Whooping cough vaccination is part of the UK childhood schedule, with the last dose being given at preschool (3 years 4 months). The vaccine is designed to be given as a booster vaccination. Therefore, children under 10 years of age, should see their NHS GP to obtain the vaccination.