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Whooping Cough

Protection from pertussis by the TdaP vaccine doesn't last very long

Harvard Health Blog

When my patients come in for their 11-year check-up, I give them the TdaP vaccine. I explain to them that a big part of the reason we give it is to protect them against pertussis, or whooping cough. I talk about outbreaks that are happening all the time, how it can be especially dangerous for little babies, and how this vaccine can help stop them from catching pertussis and spreading it to others.

It turns out that's only true for about two to three years after getting the vaccine, according to a study just published in the journal Pediatrics.

Before the early 1990s, we used a different kind of pertussis vaccine, a "whole-cell" vaccine. It...