Prevent Pertussis

Protect you and your baby from pertussis. Get the Tdap vaccine

Women should get a Tdap vaccination during everypregnancy to protect their infant from whooping cough,even if they have hadTdap vaccine before. We collected some of the most common questions women ask,along with answers backed by the latest medical research. Use these questionsto start a conversation with your doctor. Then get the vaccine to prevent pertussis.


What is pertussis (whooping cough) and why is it sodangerous for babies?

Pertussis (whooping cough) is caused by bacteria. Pertussiscan be deadly to infants. It may cause coughing fits, choking, pneumonia, braindamage, and even death. In some cases, babies cannot breathe or cough.Pertussis can cause serious illness and even death because newborns and infantsare too young to be fully vaccinated. It is necessary for mothers, familymembers, close friends, and caregivers to be vaccinated against pertussis sothey do not get infected and transmit the bacteria to your newborn baby.

How do I know if I have pertussis?

Pertussis is an infectious disease that starts like a cold,with a runny nose and cough. As time passes, the cough gets worse and lasts fora long time – possibly making you gasp for air or vomit after coughing fits andcoughing more at night. You may think it is a typical cough, but it could bepertussis. Your doctor may run a test to see if you have pertussis.

How would I give the disease to a baby?

Pertussis spreads through droplets when you talk, cough, andsneeze.

Why do babies need to be protected from pertussis?

Pertussis can be deadly to infants. It keeps them frombreathing and eating. It may cause pneumonia, brain damage, and even death.

How do I keep from getting pertussis?

TheTdap vaccine can prevent adults from getting pertussis and giving it to babies.If you have been exposed to someone with pertussis, your doctor may give youantibiotics to prevent you from getting sick, especially if you are pregnant orin contact with babies.