26 Aug 2013
Whooping cough can be life-threatening for babies. Newborns are not immune and they often get extremely sick. Babies who get whooping cough often get it from others in their family, including their parents.
Immunisation against whooping cough does not give life-long protection. Adults and children over about 11 years can get whooping cough even when they have been immunised against it, and many people have been catching whooping cough in Australia in the past few years.
It is now recommended that parents and others who will be close to a baby get a whooping cough booster even if they have been immunised before. This includes grandparents, older children in the family, other adults who live in the house, child care workers and health care workers.
Women can get the booster when they are planning a pregnancy or as soon as their baby is born. Other family members can be immunised during the pregnancy.
For more information, see our topic 'Whooping cough (Pertussis)'