Pertussis Immunisation and control in England and Wales, 1957 to 2012: A historical review

Gayatri Amirthalingam, S. Gupta, Helen Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


This review summarizes the epidemiology and control of pertussis in England and Wales since the introduction of routine immunization and considers the implications for future control. Routine infant immunization with a whole-cell pertussis (wP) vaccine was introduced in 1957 and had a marked impact on the overall disease burden. Following a fall in vaccine coverage during the 1970s and 80s linked to a safety scare with wP vaccine, there was an extended period of high coverage and pertussis incidence fell dramatically. Incidence continued to decrease with the introduction of an a cellular pertussis vaccine in the pre-school booster in November 2001 and in the primary United Kingdom (UK) schedule in September 2004 but has increased since July 2011. In response to a high rate of pertussis in infants, a temporary vaccination program for pregnant women was introduced in October 2012. The key aim of the program is to protect vulnerable infants from birth in the first months of life, before they can be fully protected by routine infant immunization. A review of the UK adolescent immunization program is currently ongoing and the inclusion of a pertussis booster is being considered.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number38
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013


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