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Whooping Cough Vaccination

Updated: Apr 2

Whooping cough (also known as pertussis) is an infectious disease that causes coughing and difficulty breathing. It can be very serious in young babies. They can catch whooping cough from family/whānau so make sure you, your older children and extended family are up-to-date with vaccinations. For some people they may be eligible to receive a funded vaccine. Your Unichem and Life Pharmacists are able to vaccinate you against whooping cough.

The whooping cough vaccination is free for some people from some pharmacies. Vaccination is free for:

  • pregnant women aged 13 years and above from 16 weeks

  • all adults at 45 and 65 years of age as immunity reduces (same vaccine as the tetanus booster)

If you do not meet the above criteria then your Pharmacist is still able to vaccinate you against whooping cough if you are 13 years and older.

One infected person can pass whooping cough on to up to 17 unprotected others. New Zealand is currently experiencing an ongoing national outbreak. Whooping Cough is a vaccine preventable disease. In New Zealand infants are fully immunised against whooping cough at around 5-months of age. Children also receive boosters at 4 and 11-years as part of the National Immunisation Schedule. Infants aren't fully immunised until around 5-months of age so make sure if you're visiting children under 5-months be sure that you are vaccinated against whooping cough because their protection starts with you.

Our immunity to whooping cough reduces over time so we need a booster every 10 years to stay fully immunised. When did you last have your whooping cough booster vaccination?

In healthy adults whooping cough is often difficult to diagnose - you may think you just have persistent cough (often referred to as a 100-day cough). Not being protected yourself means you could easily pass on this highly contagious disease without knowing you had it in the first place. The great news is that trained vaccinating Pharmacists at Unichem are able to provide one booster vaccination that covers diptheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough).

Living Rewards members receive 10 Living Rewards points when they receive a Boostrix Vaccination.


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