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If you’re an adult, do you need to get the whooping cough vaccine?

Page last updated 27 August 2018

The Australian Immunisation Handbook recommends vaccination for “any adult who wishes to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill with pertussis (whooping cough).

Some adults are at increased risk of whooping cough, including:

Pregnant women

  • the vaccine is recommended during their third trimester of each pregnancy. Vaccination during pregnancy protects the newborn, especially in the first 6 weeks of life, via antibodies that cross the placenta.

The vaccine is free from the government

Healthcare and childcare workers, and anyone in contact with infants, including grandparents and fathers

  • to protect infants and vulnerable people around them – check with your doctor about your immunisation status

Adults aged 65 years and over

  • the vaccine is recommended if you have not received one in the previous 10 years. 

Talk to your doctor about whooping cough prevention. 

Sources & Citations

  1. NHMRC. The Australian Immunisation Handbook. 2013; 10th edition: Pertussis: 302 – 316. Available at:

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0136a - Date of preparation May 2018