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Increase in cases of Whooping Cough (pertussis)

Increase in cases of Whooping Cough

There has been an increase in the number of cases of Whooping Cough in recent months.
From 1st January to the end of September 2012, 368 cases have been reported –
more than double the number for the same time period in 2011. Most cases are
less than 5 years of age but many cases have been reported in adolescents and
adults. Unfortunately in recent months there have been two deaths in very young
infants too young to be vaccinated. It is important all children are vaccinated
on time every time.


The childhood schedule as per the Immunisation Guidelines for Ireland from the
National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) is

  • Primary immunisation course of 3 doses of 6 in 1 vaccine at
    2, 4, and 6 months of age (given by GPs).
  • A booster dose at 4-5 years as 4 in 1 vaccine (given
    by HSE vaccination teams in school).
  • A second low dose booster between 11 and 14 years as Tdap (given to 1st
    year students in school).
  • A booster vaccination is now recommended for all health care workers
    in contact with infants, pregnant women and those with poor immune

Pregnant women over 20 weeks gestation and adults who wish to reduce the risk of infection to themselves and infants may get a booster vaccine (Tdap). In these instances the vaccine must be sourced privately