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Whooping cough in babies and children

You probably had a vaccine against whooping cough when you were pregnant. This helps protect your baby in their first 6 months when they're most vulnerable.

If you didn't get the vaccine while pregnant and your baby is less than 6 weeks old, ask your GP about getting vaccinated urgently.

Your baby will also need the 6 in 1 vaccine, which includes the vaccine against whooping cough. They'll get this in 3 doses between 2 and 6 months old. Your child isn't fully vaccinated until they get all 3 doses.

These vaccines help to protect your child for about 10 years. They'll need to be vaccinated again:

Protect your premature baby from whooping cough

Your baby won't be protected by the whooping cough vaccine you had during pregnancy if they're born before 32 weeks. This is because they didn’t get enough antibodies from you while in the womb.

You can help to protect your baby by:

  • making sure everyone in the home and who looks after your baby has been vaccinated
  • keeping the baby away from anyone with a cough
  • not allowing strangers to kiss your baby

page last reviewed: 04/12/2018
next review due: 04/12/2021