Children and young people
In Aotearoa New Zealand vaccination is free for children and young people aged under 18 years. Babies and young children should get their vaccine doses on-time at 6 weeks, 3 months and 5 months. Booster doses are then available at 4 and 11 years old. Read more about the Aotearoa New Zealand childhood immunisation schedule(external link).
If your child has missed getting their vaccine, that’s okay. Talk to your healthcare provider about catch up doses for people under 18 years.
Immunising people who are pregnant protects babies in their first 6 weeks of life until they can receive their own immunisation.
- The vaccine is free during pregnancy and it's recommended to have it in the second trimester, but it can be given from 16 weeks of pregnancy until 2 weeks before birth.
- You should get a booster pertussis vaccine at each pregnancy because protection against pertussis decreases over time, even if your pregnancies are only a year or 2 apart.
- Read more about vaccinations and pregnancy.
In adults, booster doses are given as a combination vaccine called Boostrix® which also protects against diphtheria and tetanus.
Free booster doses are available for:
- adults 65 years of age and above unless they have already received a booster within the past 10 years
- adults 45 years of age and above who haven't previously had 4 doses of tetanus-containing vaccine.
The cost of the vaccine is free, but there may be a small charge for the injection to be given.
Note: The protection Boostrix® provides against whooping cough is expected to decrease 4 to 6 years after vaccination.
Some adults are recommended to have a whooping cough booster at least every 10 years, eg, if you live with a newborn baby. Parents or caregivers with babies in special care baby units may also be eligible for a free vaccine.
If you're at higher risk of becoming very unwell if you catch whooping cough (eg, if you have a chronic respiratory conditions, congenital heart disease or a weakened immune system) you should also get the vaccine.
If you’re not eligible for a free whooping cough booster, they can be purchased. Your vaccinator can give you advice on how often it’s recommended you have a booster.