Are you up to date with your Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Vaccine?
Pertussis (Whooping Cough) is a highly contagious bacterial respiratory illness. It starts out like a common cold but progresses to severe fits of coughing which can last for weeks. Infants are particularly susceptible to pertussis. They may not get coughing fits but can develop periods of apnea, which are pauses in breathing. In the US, pertussis often occurs in epidemics, generally in a 3 – 5 year cycle. Pertussis is a vaccine preventable disease. Although the vaccine is not 100% effective, vaccination is the best way to prevent the spread of pertussis. Vaccine protection wanes overtime, so a booster for pertussis is now recommended, and has been available since 2005.
General vaccine recommendations: all children should receive a series of 5 doses of the DTaP vaccine. Pre-teens at age 11 or 12 years should get a dose of Tdap. Teens who did not get this vaccine at the 11- or 12-year-old check-up should get vaccinated at their next visit. Adults who did not get Tdap as a pre-teen or teen should get one dose of Tdap. Pregnant women who have not been previously vaccinated with Tdap should get one dose of Tdap postpartum before leaving the hospital or birthing center. Adults 65 years and older (grandparents, child care providers, and healthcare providers) who have close contact with infants should get a dose of Tdap, following the newest vaccine recommendations.
Getting vaccinated with Tdap is especially important for families with and caregivers of new infants.
Talk to your primary health care provider if you are uncertain about your pertussis vaccine status or if you have questions about whether you should get the vaccine.
UPlan members and their dependents age 11 or older can receive the Tdap vaccine in the Employee QuickCare Clinic, although its best for children to receive the vaccine during their regular teen check up with your family health care provider. Contact QuickCare with any questions about on campus vaccination: 218-726-8666 or stop by at KSC 107. QC hours: Mon-Friday 8am -2:30 PM, no appointment needed.
For additional information, check out the CDC Pertussis information website at:
CDC Pertussis Information Website