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Pertussis Vaccination Guidelines for Children

Ages birth to seven

DTaP or DT Vaccine: Children should be immunized in the first 18 months of life with a four-shot series of the combination vaccine, DTaP. It includes diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. Children who get all four doses before their fourth birthday should get a fifth dose before starting kindergarten or elementary school. The fifth dose isn't necessary if the fourth dose was given on or after the fourth birthday. This combination vaccine is not given to people over age seven.

DT vaccine is available for kids under seven who can't tolerate the pertussis (whooping cough) component.

Ages 7-10

Tdap Vaccine: Children aged 7-10 years who aren't fully immunized against pertussis (such as, those who didn't complete a series of pertussis-containing vaccine before their seventh birthday) should get a one-time dose of Tdap vaccine.

Ages 10 and up

Tdap or Td Vaccine: One dose of Tdap vaccine is recommended for adolescents aged 11 or 12 years in place of one Td booster. Children at least 11 years old are required to show proof of Tdap vaccination. One dose of Tdap vaccine is also recommended for older adolescents aged 13-18 years and all adults no matter their age.