The best way to protect against pertussis is with vaccines. Clinicians can also use preventive antibiotics to protect people who have been exposed and are at high risk of developing severe pertussis.
CDC recommends pertussis vaccines for infants, children, adolescents, and adults. Clinicians should give five doses of DTaP to children 2 months through 6 years of age. CDC recommends one dose of Tdap for those 11 years or older, with a preferred administration at 11 or 12 years of age. CDC also recommends Tdap for pregnant women during each pregnancy, with a preferred administration during the early part of gestational weeks 27 through 36. Get more information on pertussis vaccines.
Postexposure Antimicrobial Prophylaxis (PEP)
CDC supports targeting postexposure antibiotic use to persons at high risk of developing severe pertussis and to persons who will have close contact with those at high risk of developing severe pertussis. Learn more about use of PEP.
- Evaluating Revaccination of Healthcare Personnel
- Letter to Providers: Tdap and Influenza Vaccination of Pregnant Women [2 pages]
- FAQ: Why Are Reported Cases of Pertussis Increasing?
Learn about waning immunity and other factors driving the resurgence of pertussis.
- Pertussis: Summary of Vaccine Recommendations
Table of DTaP and Tdap vaccine recommendations across the lifespan
- Tdap for Pregnant Women
Information about the best way to protect newborns from pertussis, including safety, side effects, and efficacy of receiving Tdap during pregnancy.
- VIDEO – Protecting Patients from Deadly Pertussis: Updated Vaccine Guidelines
Posted Mar 2013
CDC Expert Commentary in partnership with Medscape, 5:59 minutes
- Page last reviewed: August 7, 2017
- Page last updated: November 7, 2017
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