Whooping cough (pertussis) is a bacterial infection of the lungs and breathing tubes. It spreads very easily and can sometimes cause serious problems. It’s important for babies and children to get vaccinated against it.
Whooping cough can be dangerous
Babies under 6 months old with whooping cough have an increased chance of having problems such as:
Whooping cough is less severe in older children and adults but coughing may cause problems including:
middle ear infections
pee leaking out when you cough (urinary incontinence)
The whooping cough vaccine
The whooping cough vaccine protects babies and children from getting whooping cough. That’s why it’s important to have all the routine NHS vaccinations.
The whooping cough vaccine is routinely given as part of the:
6-in-1 vaccine – for babies at 8, 12 and 16 weeks
4-in-1 pre-school booster – for children aged 3 years 4 months
If you’re pregnant you should also have the whooping cough vaccine – ideally between 16 and 32 weeks.