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Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
The whooping cough (Pertussis) vaccination is only available as a combined inoculation 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 vaccination more than five years ago.
• Boosting may be needed for work in the USA or Australia or when residing in these countries 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 childhood 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 components 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 inoculation 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
“I have had persistent neck and shoulder discomfort for some time. Regular visits to my local GP did not help. I was recommended to see Dr Sheila O’Neil who gave me a check-up and recommended that I see her physiotherapist colleague, Vicky Graham. I have had three sessions of physiotherapy and have regained full mobility in my neck and shoulders and feel a great deal better. I am very grateful to Dr Sheila and expect, with my husband, to sign up with her as regular patients.”Mrs Johnston
I would like to thank Dr O’Neill very much for her time today: I get the impression that she is a very caring professional, knowledgeable and reassuring, and that she makes explaining conditions crystal clear, which is exactly what is needed for an anxious patient like myself. The staff that I met were all extremely welcoming, well-groomed and helpful too. Add to this the very relaxing and beautifully scented ambience and it was really a truly positive and pleasant visit. Thank you.Linnea Blair
“Dr. Sheila O’Neill and her team quite literally saved my life. I cannot recommend them highly enough. Diagnosis of a serious condition that had been misdiagnosed by three hospitals took less than 2 weeks, including an MRI. Setting aside the professionalism, they are also just extremely nice people. Imagine a GP that truly cares and will be calling the patient after hours to see how they are getting on – that is what I got from Dr. Sheila O’Neill. There are no superlatives that adequately describe the service. Great. Fantastic. Superb.”GMK Group