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Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Vaccines

There are several acellular pertussis-containing vaccines available in BC. Pertussis-containing vaccines are only supplied as combination vaccines and use of a specific vaccine product is based on age and immunization history. For specific information regarding eligibility, guidelines for use and contraindications for each pertussis-containing vaccine product, please see the BC Immunization Manual, Part 4 - Biological Products (Diphtheria and Tetanus-containing vaccines).

The following pertussis-containing vaccines are part of BC's publicly funded immunization program for infants, children and adolescents:

  • DTaP-HB-IPV-Hib
    • Primary series for infants at 2, 4 and 6 months of age
  • DTaP-IPV-Hib
    • Booster dose at 18 months of age
  • Tdap-IPV
    • School entry booster at 4-6 years of age
  • Tdap
    • Reinforcing dose for grade 9 students

Some adults are also elgible for publicly funded Tdap vaccine: 

  • Unimmunized or incompletely immunized adults
  • Inviduals born in 1989 or later who missed getting their adolescent dose of Tdap
Pertussis-containing vaccines for adults recommended by the National Advisory Committe on Immunization (NACI) but not provided for free in BC:

  • Tdap vaccine should be offered in every pregnancy irrespective of previous Tdap immunization history. See below for additional information regarding this recommendation.
  • All adults should receive one dose of Tdap vaccine if they have not previously received a pertussis-containing vaccine in adulthood

Pertussis vaccine in pregnancy

To date, maternal immunization with Tdap has been shown to be safe and facilitates high levels of vaccine derived antibodies to be transferred through the placenta to provide protection for newborns in their first months of life. As per the Canadian Immunization Guide, maternal immunization with Tdap vaccine early in the third trimester protects 90% of infants under 3 months of age against pertussis infection. This is particularly important as infants do not receive their first dose of a pertussis-containing vaccine until 2 months of age and it is during the first two months of life that infants are most at risk from complications associated with pertussis infection. 

NACI recommends Tdap vaccine be given between 27 and 32 weeks of gestation in all pregnancies irrespective of previous Tdap immunization history. Tdap vaccine can be provided up until delivery, but vaccine should ideally be received four weeks prior to delivery to provide sufficient time for antibody transfer. NACI also recommends that Tdap vaccine can be given as early as 13 weeks of gestation for pregnancies with an increased risk of preterm delivery to allow for sufficient time for antibody transfer. For additional information on Tdap vaccine in pregnancy, please see:

SOURCE: Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Vaccines ( )
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