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Prevention

The best way to prevent pertussis is to get vaccinated.


Infants and Children (ages 2 months through 6 years)

DTaP is the recommended pertussis vaccine for infants and children ages 2 months through 6 years. This is a combination vaccine that protects against three diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. For maximum protection against pertussis, children need five DTaP shots.

For more information about the DTaP vaccine, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/dtap.pdf


Preteens and Teens

Vaccine protection for pertussis, tetanus, and diphtheria can decrease with time. Preteens should get a booster vaccine, called Tdap, at 11 or 12 years of age. Teens and young adults who did not get a booster of Tdap as a preteen should get one dose when they visit their healthcare provider.

For more information about the Tdap vaccine, visit:
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/tdap.pdf


Pregnant Women

Women who are expecting a baby and have not previously received the vaccine should receive one dose of Tdap, preferably later in pregnancy (after 20 weeks gestation). By getting Tdap during pregnancy, maternal antibodies may provide protection against pertussis during the infant’s early life, before the baby can begin receiving DTaP vaccine. Tdap will also protect the mother at time of delivery, making her less likely to transmit pertussis to her infant. If not vaccinated during pregnancy, Tdap should be given immediately postpartum, before leaving the hospital or birthing center.

For more information about the Tdap vaccine, visit:
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/tdap.pdf


Adults

Adults 19 years of age and older who did not receive Tdap as a preteen or teen should get one dose of Tdap. Tdap may be given in place of one of the regular tetanus boosters which are recommended every 10 years for adults. Being vaccinated with Tdap at least two weeks before coming into close contact with an infant is especially important for families and caregivers of these infants. For these individuals, the dose of Tdap can be given regardless of when the last Td shot was received. Adults should talk to a healthcare provider about what is best for their specific situation.

To protect newborns and infants less than 12 months of age, anyone who has close contact with the infant, including parents, siblings, relatives, friends and caregivers (such as grandparents and child care providers) should be vaccinated against pertussis.

It is also important to keep infants and other persons at high risk for pertussis complications away from anyone who has a cough or cold symptoms.

For more information about the Tdap vaccine, visit:
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/tdap.pdf