Whooping Cough

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About Whooping Cough Vaccination

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a single dose of Tdap vaccine for people ages 11 and older who have not previously received Tdap.

The letters in Tdap stand for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. Pertussis is another name for whooping cough. The Tdap vaccine helps protect both adults and adolescents from all 3 of these diseases.

The FAQs below can help you learn more.

Td: This vaccine helps protect against 2 diseases—tetanus and diphtheria. The CDC recommends tetanus and diphtheria boosters for adults every 10 years.

DTaP: This vaccine helps protect young children against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. It is recommended to be given as a 5-dose series, starting in infancy and completing between the ages of 4 and 6 years.

Tdap: This vaccine helps protect adults and adolescents against 3 diseases—tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. If you have not received it already, a healthcare provider may replace your next Td vaccine with a Tdap. Unlike Td vaccines, which help prevent tetanus and diphtheria, Tdap vaccines help prevent pertussis (commonly known as whooping cough) as well as tetanus and diphtheria. The CDC recommends a single dose of Tdap vaccine for people ages 11 and older who have not previously received Tdap.


Talk to your healthcare provider to find out if vaccination is right for you.

No. Beginning as infants and ending at age 4-6, children receive a series of vaccines to help protect against diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough (DTaP). But immunity from whooping cough fades over time. Regular booster vaccinations against diphtheria and tetanus are needed. The CDC recommends a single dose of Tdap vaccine for people ages 11 and older who have not previously received Tdap. Talk to your healthcare provider to find out if vaccination is right for you.

If you received a whooping cough vaccine as a child, that doesn't mean you have lifetime immunity. Since childhood vaccines that help protect against whooping cough can fade over time, the CDC recommends a single dose of Tdap vaccine for people ages 11 and older who have not previously received Tdap. Talk to your healthcare provider to find out if vaccination is right for you.

No. Td vaccination only helps protect against tetanus and diphtheria. In contrast, Tdap can help protect both adults and adolescents against whooping cough as well as tetanus and diphtheria. Talk to your healthcare provider to find out if vaccination is right for you.

The CDC recommends a single dose of Tdap vaccine for people ages 11 and older who have not previously received Tdap. Talk to your healthcare provider to find out if vaccination is right for you.

Tdap is given as an injection in the muscle of the upper arm.

Preteens and teens: The CDC recommends a routine booster vaccine for 11-12 year olds. Other preteens and teens may also require a booster vaccine.

Adults: The CDC recommends that all adults 19 years of age and older get a one-time booster vaccine.


If you are pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider about whooping cough vaccination during pregnancy.

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