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Why Whooping Cough Is Rising Despite a New Vaccine

Vaccination Schedule

Some health experts think a new version of the vaccine is needed to bring down the number of people getting whooping cough. "We need a better vaccine that induces lifetime, or at least longer, immunity," says Roy Curtiss, PhD, director of the Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology at Arizona State University. That may mean trying a combination of older and newer vaccines, more frequent booster shots, or something completely new.

In the meantime, the best way to protect yourself and your kids from whooping cough is to follow the CDC's recommended vaccine schedule. The vaccine that protects against whooping cough for kids younger than age 7 is called DTaP. It also prevents diphtheria and tetanus. Make sure your child gets all the scheduled doses.

For older children and adults, the vaccine that protects against whooping cough is called Tdap. Like DTaP, it's a combination vaccine that also prevents diphtheria and tetanus. A booster for Tdap is recommended for all adults. And pregnant women should get a Tdap booster in the third trimester.

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Reviewed on January 07, 2014

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