Pertussis Travel Vaccine

Item: Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
Schedule: Single Dose
Price (per dose): £125

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Pertussis, also known as Whooping Cough, is a severe cough which primarily strikes infants and young children when they become infected with the bacteria Bordetella Pertussis. The infection can also appear in older children and adults, though at this stage, the symptoms are generally milder.

Although the incubation period of this infection can be as long as 21 days, the first symptoms can begin within a day or two of infection, and usually resemble the early symptoms of a common cold. They can include:

  • Sore throat and slightly raised temperature
  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Sneezing
  • Watering eyes
  • Dry, irritating cough

These symptoms can last as long as a week before becoming more severe. Second-stage symptoms of Pertussis feature severe bouts of coughing, sometimes called “Paroxysms” as many as 12 to 15 times a day, (though this varies), and are characterised by:

  • Intense bouts of coughing, bringing up thick phlegm
  • Vomiting after coughing, especially in infants and young children
  • A “whoop” sound accompanying a sharp intake of breath after a bout of coughing
  • Tiredness and redness in the face after coughing.

The second stage can last as much as a month or more after treatment, because the cough will remain in the body after the bacterium has cleared.

Pertussis can be rapidly spread through a family, since in its early stages, the infection appears to be a normal cold, and precautions may not be taken to “cocoon” a baby who is too young to be vaccinated as yet. If the parent or main caregiver has not been vaccinated, and contracts the disease, the infant is at risk. 90% of deaths associated with Pertussis occur among babies less than one year of age.

The majority of cases occur when a person carrying Pertussis coughs or sneezes close to an unvaccinated person of any age. If you have any of the symptoms listed earlier, cover your mouth when sneezing, or coughing, and wash your hands frequently to avoid transmitting the droplets.

Keep your baby and young child safe with full immunisation, and take care to update your vaccination.

The DTaP Vaccine, which is administered to babies approx. 2 months of age, and young children (up to 7 yrs) as part of the Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis immunisation, is considered very safe. Side effects are mild, and can include:

  • Redness and swelling at the injection site
  • Slight fever in about 25% of children
  • Soreness or tenderness at the injection site

The Tdap Vaccine, given to adults, also protects against Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis and can be given at any time of year. If you are planning to travel soon, please contact our Travel Clinic to arrange an appointment for a booster shot of this vaccine.  

Pertussis is a worldwide threat to children and adults of all ages, no matter where, and, according to recent statistics, cases are on the increase.

Plan to have a vaccination no less than 6 weeks before your departure so that the vaccine has enough time to become effective.

Our London Travel Clinics

All 3 of our centrally located travel clinics are convenient for people living and working in London. Liverpool Street, London Bridge and High St Kensington. We are open early morning, lunchtime, evening and weekends and provide all of the vaccinations and medications that you need.