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Private Whooping Cough (Pertussis) Vaccination

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is indeed a highly contagious bacterial infection of the lungs. It can be particularly severe and may even lead to hospitalisation for young children and infants. At Private Medical Clinic, we prioritise your health, and that’s why we offer the Whooping Cough vaccine as a crucial preventive measure.

The requirement for vaccination against whooping cough (pertussis) when entering many countries is based on public health considerations aimed at preventing the spread of the disease. By ensuring travelers are vaccinated against whooping cough, countries such as Australia aim to protect both its residents and visitors from potential outbreaks and to maintain public health standards.

Doctor administering a travel vaccination to a patient

What is whooping cough?

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. The infection typically progresses through several stages, each with its own set of symptoms.

The effectiveness of the vaccination

The Whooping Cough vaccine, also known as Boostrix IPV, is recommended as a single dose for expectant mothers between 16 and 24 weeks of pregnancy. This vaccination has proven to be highly effective in safeguarding children from whooping cough until they are old enough to receive their own vaccination at 2 months of age. In some countries, close family members are also advised to get the booster if they are in close contact with a newborn baby.

It’s important to note that there is no standalone vaccine for whooping cough. Instead, the Boostrix IPV vaccine is used, providing protection not only against whooping cough but also against Polio, Diphtheria, and Tetanus.

What are the symptoms of whooping cough?

The symptoms of whooping cough can vary in severity, and they often resemble those of a common cold in the early stages. The characteristic “whooping” sound when inhaling occurs in later stages of the illness. Here are the typical symptoms and stages of whooping cough:

  1. Catarrhal Stage (First Stage):
    • Runny or stuffy nose.
    • Sneezing.
    • Mild, occasional cough, which may be mistaken for a cold.
  2. Paroxysmal Stage (Second Stage):
    • Severe, uncontrollable coughing fits. These coughing spells can be intense and may lead to vomiting, exhaustion, and difficulty breathing.
    • The “whooping” sound, which is a high-pitched intake of breath after a coughing fit. Not everyone with whooping cough makes this sound, especially older children and adults.
    • Coughing fits can be worse at night.
  3. Convalescent Stage (Third Stage):
    • Coughing fits become less frequent and less severe but can persist for several weeks.

It’s important to note that infants and young children, especially those under one year of age, may not develop the characteristic “whoop” sound during their coughing fits. Instead, they may have prolonged coughing spells, difficulty breathing, and in some cases, bluish skin coloration due to a lack of oxygen.

Book your Whooping Cough vaccination using our streamlined booking process

At Private Medical Clinic, we understand the importance of proactive healthcare. Our private clinics across the UK provide a welcoming environment for discussing your vaccine options. Our team of experts is here to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the vaccination process.

Book your whooping cough vaccine through our online calendar. Simply select a date and time that works for you, enter your details, and one of our experienced GPs will walk you through the necessary steps.

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Shingles Vaccine


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Diphtheria, Tetanus & Polio (Covers for 10 years)


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Rabies (Course of 3 vaccines – £195)


Japanese Encephalitis (Course of 2 vaccines – £250)


Meningitis ACWY (Covers for 3-5 years)


Cholera (Course of 2 vaccines)


Whooping cough vaccine (Pertussis combined with D/T/P)


The whooping cough vaccine, like many vaccines, may have side effects, but most of these side effects are mild and temporary. The main vaccine used in the UK to protect against whooping cough is typically administered as part of the combined diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine for children and as the combined tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine for adolescents and adults. Common side effects of these vaccines can include:

  1. Pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site.
  2. Mild fever.
  3. Irritability or fussiness in infants and young children.
  4. Fatigue or drowsiness.
  5. Loss of appetite.

These side effects are generally mild and typically occur within a day or two of receiving the vaccine. They usually resolve on their own within a few days.

Serious side effects from the whooping cough vaccine are rare. However, in very rare cases, severe allergic reactions can occur shortly after vaccination. Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include difficulty breathing, swelling of the face and throat, and a rapid heartbeat. If someone experiences these symptoms after vaccination, they should seek immediate medical attention.

Our Private Doctors

Private Medical Clinic is proud to be led by a team of experienced and compassionate medical professionals. Our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable healthcare services to our patients.

Each team member brings a wealth of experience, expertise, and compassion to their roles, ensuring that our patients receive the highest standard of care possible. From our skilled doctors and specialists to our attentive administrative professionals, we work collaboratively to create a seamless patient experience.

Dr Simon Khela

Consultant Private GP

Dr Simon Khela is an experienced private GP and the medical director of Private Medical Clinic. He has a special interest in lifestyle & functional medicine.

Dr Jayawardena

GP with Specialist Interest in Women’s and Sexual Health

Dr Jayawardena is an experienced private GP with specialist training in obstetrics and gynaecology.

Dr Hanoman-Singh

GP with Specialist Interest Aesthetic and Anti-Ageing Medicine

Dr Sabina is passionate about delivering safe, effective and natural looking treatments and longevity from within.

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