A pertussis (whooping cough) booster has been added to the NIP for children at 18 months of age. The booster dose complements pertussis containing vaccinations given at two, four and six months with booster doses given at four years and 10 to 15 years. Supplies of the vaccine will be available from March 2016.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) considers the re-introduction of a pertussis booster dose at 18 months necessary from a public health perspective to improve pertussis control. This is due to waning immunity following primary immunisation and an increase in the number of infections in the two to nine age group in recent years.
Targeted, enhanced surveillance of adverse events will be undertaken as part of the program roll-out. Any adverse events following immunisation at any age should be reported to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Go to the ‘report a problem’ link via the TGA's website at (www.tga.gov.au) or report adverse events through the usual reporting mechanisms in your state or territory.
In order to maintain a complete immunisation history, all vaccines administered to children should be notified to the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) via usual methods.
- A range of resources, including posters and fact sheets are available.
- The Australian Immunisation Handbook - Pertussis (whooping cough).