Whooping Cough – a disease which causes coughing so deadly and persistent, that those who are infected struggle to breathe during uncontrollable coughing fits.
But thankfully, there’s an easy way to prevent you or your family getting it – a vaccination.
Here’s how much the vaccination costs:
$30 – $50 to fill the vaccination prescription (depending on the chemist) plus the doctor’s fee for the vaccination itself. Bulk Billing is usually available.
The vaccination is free for pregnant women who are 28 weeks or more in all states in Australia.
For specific pricing, please call your local chemist or visit on of the following websites:
- NSW – http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/immunisation/Pages/adult_vaccination.aspx
- VIC – https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/public-health/immunisation/adults/nip-and-state-funded-vaccines/whooping-cough-vaccine
- WA – http://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/U_Z/Whooping-cough-pertussis
- NT – https://nt.gov.au/wellbeing/healthy-living/immunisation/whooping-cough-vaccination
- SA – http://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au
- QLD – https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/immunisation/adults
What is whooping cough?
Scientifically named Pertussis (Wikipedia), the contagious disease is an infection of the lungs and airways. Resulting in the infected to cough violently and uncontrollably.
The disease isn’t to be taken lightly as a mere coughing fit. It can lead to brain damage, pneumonia, and sometimes it can even be fatal.
So your best bet of keeping yourself or someone you know out of harms way, is to take note of the prices above and vaccinate.
How often do you need the vaccination?
Unfortunately, the vaccination generally isn’t a once in a lifetime event – meaning you’ll most likely need to get vaccinated more than once if your life.
According to The Australian Immunisation Handbook (link), these are the stages when the whooping cough vaccinations should be taken:
- Pregnant woman (28 weeks)
- 6 weeks (initial vaccine 1st dose of 3)
- 2 months (initial vaccine 2nd dose of 3)
- 6 months (initial vaccine final dose of 3)
- 18 months (booster dose)
- 4 years (booster dose)
- 12 years (booster dose)
- 65 years (booster dose)
- Every 10 years after (booster dose)
However, if you are a healthcare worker, work in early childhood education and care, or care for infants under 6 months of age, they recommend getting a booster dose of the vaccine every 10 years (even before 65 years of age).
How long does the vaccine last?
As you can see from the list above, the time between each vaccination varies depending on the stage of your life.
Infants and children are far more susceptible to the disease hence the more frequent vaccinations.
Once you grow into an adult, the need to vaccinate almost disappears unless you’re lifestyles falls under certain conditions (as above).
How can you tell if you have whooping cough?
These are the symptoms:
- Sneezing more often than usual
- Unusually blocked or runny nose
- Temperate slightly higher than normal
- Uncontrollable coughing fits with ‘whooping’ sounds and struggling to breathe
- Feeling of or actually vomiting after coughing
Symptoms start occurring around 8 days after being infected. Coughing fits can often happen during the night and prevent you from sleeping.
Some young infants may have the disease and not cough at all.
A great example of what Whooping Cough looks and sounds like in an infant can be found here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3oZrMGDMMw
Similarly, this is what it looks like in an adult – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31tnXPlhA7w
If you believe you have whooping cough, please contact your local doctor immediately.
There is a simple test taken via a back of the mouth swab.
We are not health professionals and cannot provide you with a diagnosis of your condition. Please consult your local GP for professional advice.
Hopefully this article was of help to you. If you have any thoughts on the vaccine cost, know where it can be done cheaper, or would like any more info – please leave a comment below.