The Boostrix Vaccine for Whooping Cough, Tetanus and Diphtheria

What are Whooping cough, Tetanus and Diphtheria?

Whooping cough, also known as Pertussis, is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the respiratory system. Symptoms include episodes of violent coughing, which can make it hard to breathe. The cough is often accompanied by a “whooping” sound and can last for weeks or months. It is most common in young children and can be fatal in infants.

Tetanus is a serious bacterial infection caused by bacteria called Clostridium tetani. It usually enters the body through a cut or wound, and produces a neurotoxin that affects the nervous system, leading to muscle stiffness and spasms. Common symptoms include lockjaw, difficulty swallowing and muscle spasms. If not treated quickly and properly, it can be fatal.

Diphtheria is an infection caused by a bacteria. It affects the nose, throat, and airways, causing a thick coating in the back of the throat. Symptoms include a sore throat, fever, chills, swollen glands in the neck, and difficulty breathing. It can also cause serious complications like heart problems, paralysis, and even death.


Who is eligible for a funded Boostrix vaccination?

  • Pregnant women in the second or third trimester of each pregnancy
  • Parents or primary caregivers of infants admitted to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or Specialist Care Baby Unit for more than 3 days, who had not been exposed to maternal vaccination at least 14 days prior to birth
  • A course of up to four doses is funded for children from age 7 up to the age of 18 years inclusive to complete full primary immunisation - Available from your GP
  • An additional four doses (as appropriate) are funded for re-immunisation for patients after they receive haematopoietic stem cell transplantation or chemotherapy; before or after a splenectomy; before or after a solid organ transplant, renal dialysis and other severely immunosuppressive regimens.
  • Adults aged from 65 years old
  • Adults aged from 45 years old who have not had 4 previous tetanus doses
  • Previously unimmunised or partially immunised patients
  • Revaccination following immunosuppression
  • Adults with tetanus-prone wounds.


Are there any potential side effects?

Every medication can have side effects, vaccinations are no different. Most side effects from vaccination will settle within a few days and can be managed by resting and drinking plenty of fluids.  If you are concerned about a reaction you might be having to your vaccination phone us on 03 477 9793 or Healthline on 0800 611 116

Common side effects can include:

  • Pain and swelling around the injection site may prevent normal everyday activities for 24–48 hours
  • Headache or nausea
  • Muscle or joint stiffness or pain

Rare responses

  • Hives
  • Sterile abscess at the injection site


More information including how to book:


Our qualified Vaccinating Pharmacists administer a number of funded and non-funded vaccinations.


Information for after your Boostrix vaccination

After your vaccination