Whooping cough has an estimated 60 million documented occurrences globally according to the World Health Organization (WHO). A number of near epidemic outbreaks have also been reported because of this pathogenic disease.
But luckily, there’s a vaccine to prevent you from contracting it. Read on to know more about whooping cough and why you should vaccinate against this rare transmissible infection.
What Is It?
Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by Bordetella pertussis bacteria. This serious bacterial infection can spread when an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes and releases small infectious droplets into the air that others may breathe in as well.
The early signs of whooping cough include runny nose, mild cough, and low fever. When this worsens, it affects our lungs and airways causing the person to suffer violent and uncontrollable coughs with a high pitch whoop along with vomiting.
Whooping cough can be prevented by immunisation but if left untreated, complications can cause more serious diseases such as loss of bladder control, pneumonia, or even brain damage which may eventually lead to death.
Read more about flu vaccinations.
What Is the Vaccine?
Fortunately, a vaccine that prompts the body to release an antibody to fight the disease is readily available. The vaccine that significantly helps protect our body against whooping cough comes in two. The first one is DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis) vaccine which is suitable for young children below 7 years old and the other one is the TDAF vaccine suited for preteens to adults. The latter given at 11 years old.
Why Should I Get Vaccinated?
Since whooping cough has early symptoms like that of a common cold, persons who are infected may not have an idea that they are already spreading the bacteria. Getting vaccinated is the safest and most effective way to prevent whooping cough. More so, you can help protect other people especially young children and pregnant women to catch the infection. It is the best way to prevent the disease from spreading further.
Who Should Get Vaccinated?
Pertussis vaccine is recommended for all ages including babies and pregnant women unless you are any of the following:
- Allergic to any ingredient in the vaccine
- Has experienced a serious reaction such as pain or swelling on diphtheria, tetanus, or whooping cough vaccines in the past.
- Have seizures or other nervous system problems.
- Have an immune system disorder.
A booster dose is also recommended every 10 years after getting vaccinated.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Like any other medications & vaccines, whooping cough vaccines can have side effects but couldn’t cause any serious reaction. Commonly, a vaccinated person may experience pain, fever, redness, and swelling caused by the injection. You can also experience nausea, headache, tiredness, and aching muscles. These side effects are usually mild and resolve completely within a few days and require no treatment at all.
Keep in mind that getting a whooping cough vaccine is much safer than contracting a whooping cough disease.
Who Can I Consult for a Vaccine?
In support of the Queensland Health Guidelines, Greg Keily Chemist takes part in the Queensland Pharmacist Immunisation Project (QPIP). It aims to provide timely and accessible vaccinations through community pharmacy on your own convenience.
If you need a shot of the whooping cough vaccine, or any further information regarding vaccinations, our qualified Pharmacists and staff in Southport are happy to talk. Contact us or call us on 07 5555 7877.