What is Boostrix?

Boostrix is a vaccine that helps protect infants against whooping cough, diphtheria and tetanus – life-threatening diseases caused by bacterial infections.1,2

Boostrix is funded for all NZ children at 11 years of age, as well as pregnant women.1

As part of the national immunisation schedule, Boostrix is funded for all NZ children at 11 years of age.1 However, protection is not life-long and decreases over time.1

All pregnant women between 28 and 38 weeks gestation are also funded to receive Boostrix.1 If you are pregnant and thinking about having a Boostrix vaccination, speak to your doctor to see if Boostrix is right for you.

Boostrix is recommended for adults in close contact with newborns1

Immunity to whooping cough wanes over time. Adults need regular booster vaccinations to help protect themselves and infants too young to be fully immunised – especially as over 70% of whooping cough infections in newborns are passed on by a person in close contact with the baby.3,4

Boostrix is recommended as a whooping cough booster for adults who are in close contact with newborns – particularly parents, family, healthcare professionals and early childhood educators.1

You can ask for Boostrix as a whooping cough booster at your local GP practice, selected hospital departments and pharmacies.

Reasons to vaccinate with Boostrix

  • Whooping cough can be life-threatening, especially for young babies less than six months old. 1,5
  • Parents are the most common source of whooping cough infection for vulnerable young babies.3,4,6
  • Vaccinating adults can help reduce the chances of young babies being exposed to whooping cough.3,4,7

If you are an adult in close contact with a baby, you should discuss whooping cough vaccination with your healthcare professional.

Click here to view Medsafe information on Boostrix.

Boostrix also helps protect against diphtheria and tetanus

Diphtheria is caused by bacteria infecting the throat, nose, and sometimes skin. These bacteria produce toxins that can result in paralysis, kidney failure, heart trouble and other serious problems. Even though some cases can be mild, and diphtheria has become much less common in the last 50 years, it’s still a serious infectious disease that can be life-threatening.8

Tetanus, also called lockjaw, is caused by spore-forming bacteria found in soil. Humans and animals carry the bacteria and spores in the gut, but if they enter the body through a wound, the nervous system can be affected by toxins the bacteria produce. Initial symptoms include weakness, stiffness or cramps and difficulty chewing or swallowing food. As the disease progresses tetanus is characterised by muscular rigidity and very painful contraction spasms. Tetanus is also a serious infectious disease that can be life-threatening.9

Boostrix is generally well tolerated

Common side effects include headaches, dizziness, nausea, gastrointestinal disorders, fatigue, malaise, fever, and local reactions such as pain, redness and swelling at the injection site.2

Boostrix should not be administered if you are allergic to any component of the Boostrix vaccine or similar vaccines, or have had a serious reaction from any previous whooping cough vaccines.2

Where can I go for more information?