Results 56 (20%, 95% confidence interval 16% to 25%) children had evidence of recent pertussis infection, including 39 (18%, 13% to 24%) of 215 children who had been fully vaccinated. The risk of pertussis was more than three times higher (21/53; 40%, 26% to 54%) in children who had received the preschool pertussis booster vaccination seven years or more previously than in those who had received it less than seven years previously (20/171; 12%, 7% to 17%). The risk of pertussis was similar between children who received five and three component preschool pertussis booster vaccines (risk ratio for five component vaccine 1.14, 0.64 to 2.03). Four of six children in whom cough frequency was measured coughed more than 400 times in 24 hours.
Conclusions Pertussis can still be found in a fifth of school age children who present in primary care with persistent cough and can cause clinically significant cough in fully vaccinated children. These findings will help to inform consideration of the need for an adolescent pertussis booster vaccination in the United Kingdom.
Whooping cough in school age children presenting with persistent cough in UK primary care after introduction of the preschool pertussis booster vaccination: prospective cohort study