Clinical case review

Pertussis vaccination

Kristine K Macartney



Should this young mother of a newborn have a booster vaccination against pertussis when she has already had two doses of diphtheria and tetanus vaccination in the past four years?

Article Extract

Case scenario

Sarah is a 24-year-old new mother of a healthy 2-week-old baby. She presented to her GP requesting a booster vaccination against pertussis. On questioning, however, it was revealed that Sarah had already received two doses of the adult diphtheria and tetanus vaccination in the past four years. The most recent was 14 months ago following a dog bite, and then three years before this, as part of comprehensive pretravel vaccinations. She had also, in her last year of school, been given the diphtheria and tetanus vaccination prior to a camping excursion.

Although it would benefit Sarah to boost her pertussis immunity, is it advisable to have yet another vaccine containing diphtheria and tetanus? What adverse reactions could occur?