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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    When is a whooping cough booster contra indicated frail 83 year old ?

    Related Topic
    My son and daughter in law are making me a grandfather. My brother and I have had our whooping cough boosters but my mother's Dr. says that he's not sure he wants to give it to her, she's 83 and although really alert in the head she is extremely fragile in the body. Medical advice on this subject would be very helpful as she has this idea of not having contact with her great grand daughter ?
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  • 2

    Thanks

    Dr Richard Beatty

    GP (General Practitioner)

    Brisbane GP With Special interest in Complex Medical, Men's health, antenatal, paediatrics. Skin Cancer Clinic Designated Aviation Medical Examiner Specific interests in Vasectomy, Dermatology & … View Profile

    Infection with Whooping cough (pertussis) can cause severe illness (or even death) in babies under 6 months (who haven't got immunity yet from their vaccines at 2,4 & 6 months) so the idea is to vaccinate adults who might pass it on to young babies (close family). This might sound a bit over-the-top until you realise that the fatality rate for pertussis in “unvaccinated infants under 6 months” is quoted in the Australian Immunisation hanbook 2013 as 0.8% (so around in 1 in 125). Another reason to have it is that Pertussis is surprisingly common in adults (around 7% of cough illnesses) and the nasty cough can last for months. Immunity wears off after previous infection, and after vaccination immunity lasts up to 10 years. So, yes, it's a good idea; the cost of the vaccine (as it's no longer medicare rebatable for grandparents in Queensland) is roughly $35 for the vaccine and the booster also covers tetanus and diptheria. Contra-indications are anaphylaxis following any previous vaccine component (very rare); booster doses are “safe and well tolerated in adults” - in summary, the national guideline advises (for good reason) a booster if you've not had one in the last 10 years, and get this done at least 2 weeks before you see your grand-baby!

  • 1

    Thanks

    Badhabitsau

    HealthShare Member

    Thank you for all the information, I was mostly interested in direct  advice about, if the great grandmothers Dr. was “still thinking” about the booster for her, in your opinion is 83 and frail any real impediment to her health at all ? What would he be “still ” considering? Thank you !

  • 2

    Thanks

    Dr Richard Beatty

    GP (General Practitioner)

    Brisbane GP With Special interest in Complex Medical, Men's health, antenatal, paediatrics. Skin Cancer Clinic Designated Aviation Medical Examiner Specific interests in Vasectomy, Dermatology & … View Profile

    Hi, in a nutshell … frailty is no impediment to it at all, is certainly recommended if she's not had the vaccine in the last 10 years. Thanks.

  • Badhabitsau

    HealthShare Member

    Thanks very much Doctor, you've made her day, :) she was so worried as you cold  imagine  not being able to see her only Great Grand child. Again thanks for all your trouble.

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