All primary one students are required to get their vaccinations at the nearest Klinik Kesihatan. The compulsory vaccinations needed are MR (measles,rubella) and DT (diphtheria, tetanus) as per the Malaysian immunisation schedule. In ABC Children Specialist Clinic, we provide Tdap vaccination instead, which consist of an additional vaccine against Pertussis.
What is Pertussis?
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease. It is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.
Why is it important to vaccinate against Pertussis?
Waning immunity after completion of childhood immunization and booster at 18 months.
-There have been numerous large scale outbreaks over the world even in “advanced nation” like the United States. This is attributed to the waning immunity following completion of primary immunization.
-Hence, adults can be infected and act as reservoirs for the infection thus infecting young children who are unvaccinated or who have not completed the series of Pertussis vaccination.
-In fact, in the last Pertussis outbreak in California in 2014 which resulted in 225 deaths, 80% of children affected were infants and children between ages 7-16 years!
Pertussis remains a highly infectious disease with cyclical outbreaks occurring every 2-5 years.
-Pertussis (whooping cough) or better known as the “100-day cough” is a highly contagious disease caused by Bordetella Pertussis. It is known for its uncontrollable, violent coughing making it hard to breathe with a characteristic “whoop”.
-Worldwide, there is an estimated 24.1 million cases of Pertussis and about 160,700 deaths per year.
-In Malaysia, the incidence of Pertussis has increased by 22-fold from 41 cases in 2010 to 892 cases in 2018.
Tdap vaccine is safe to be given to children and even pregnant women.
-Like any other vaccine or medicine, the most common side effects are mild which include redness and soreness at the injection site, fever, headache or tiredness.
-For pregnant mothers, Tdap vaccine can be safely given from the 27th weeks of gestation onwards (3rd trimester) to protect newborns from Pertussis.
Dr. JoAnn Rajah is a child specialist that provides pediatric care to baby and children in Selangor and KL. Her core strength lies in diagnosing early signs of child health issues and guiding parents on how to manage them.