Since 1 January 2013 the whooping cough vaccine (Boostrix) has been and is available FREE for pregnant women between gestational weeks 28 and 38. Since November 2016, it is also now available FREE through selected Waikato pharmacies.
Free pertussis vaccinations are available at the following pharmacies:
Article in The New Zealand Medical Journal [PDF, 141 KB]: Pertussis (whooping cough) epidemiology in Waikato, New Zealand: 2000–2009 by Richard Wall, Anita Bell, Jason Theobald
Whooping cough (also called "pertussis") is a serious disease.
The symptoms of whooping cough include:
If you think that you or your child has whooping cough symptoms, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. If it is whooping cough, antibiotic treatment may be offered. Treatment may also be offered to the whole family if there are other children aged less than one year in the family. The antibiotics do not usually reduce the severity of illness (they can’t cure whooping cough), but they help prevent whooping cough from spreading if given early enough.
Immunisation is the best way to prevent whooping cough. Children should be immunised at the ages of six weeks, three months, five months, 15 months and four years. It is important to start immunisations at the recommended time because younger babies are most likely to get serious complications from whooping cough.
For more information about whooping cough, please contact your doctor, a public health nurse or the Health Protection Unit, telephone Hamilton (07) 838 2569.