Free Pertussis Vaccinations: A Video Plea/Plug

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

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  1. This is great. Any chance of doing the same thing in the UK some time?

    Doing it in the USA is good to raise awareness, and it helps those that are too lazy or cheap to get it themselves. But, in the UK I’ve found it impossible to find any doctor, either public or private, who has the pertussis booster to give me. As far as I can tell, it doesn’t exist at all in the country.

    So, if you could find a way of importing the pertussis booster into the UK and give it away, you’d be doing much more good. It would also help raise the profile so perhaps the UK government would actually start providing it to everyone.

  2. A quick “thank you” to both SkepChick specifically and the skeptical community in general. My wife and I both vocally support vaccination to our friends, coworkers and family but were, in fact, shamefully unaware that the pertussis vaccine needed a 10 year booster. My wife quickly made an appointment with her doctor and is now up to date on all vacinations. I checked with my doctor and was relieved to find out that, while I may have been out to lunch, he was not and I had received my booster two years ago.
    I just wanted to point out that this blog (and sceptical/science blogs in general) provide useful actionable information – even to yahoos like me.

  3. @Gib:

    Generally, the pertussis is combined with the tetanus vaccine. Ask your doctor about a TDaP.

    Though, even if you are current on your tetanus, check with your doc. They were uncombined for a few years.

  4. @Elyse:
    Here, for adults the tetanus is bundled with diptheria and polio. Not pertussis.
    The pertussis vaccine is last available at 3 years, 4 months of age, which is the “DTP/polio (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio)”.

    My only chance would be to get a child’s injection. Would I need extra because I’m bigger ?

  5. @Gib:

    I claim no expertise (only passion) but I’m fairly certain adults do not need polio boosters. I’m having a hard time finding information on DTaP/TDaP/TDP/DTP in the UK, but I recommend double checking your source on the adult vax.

  6. @Elyse,

    My sources are:
    1. Some information I got when I got the “Revaxis” Tetanus/Diptheria/Polio jab.

    2. Travel clinics and nurses I’ve spoken to recently, when I was trying to find a pertussis booster.

    3. These sites:
    and plenty more.

    I wish I was wrong….
    I also thought adults didn’t need polio boosters, but apparently the UK thinks we do need that, but not pertussis boosters.

    Luckily I’m going home to Australia via Japan in a few months, so I’ll be able to top up myself in one of those places.

  7. I found the email address of a friendly university professor, and he’s kindly got his staff working on finding where in England the pertussis booster is available. I’ll report back…

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