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Whooping cough is a vaccine-preventable disease

Which Diseases Do Vaccines Protect Against?1

The Canadian publicly funded health care system offers protection against 13 vaccine-preventable diseases, TB protection in certain areas and HPV vaccine for older children.

Pertussis (whooping cough)2

Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus called Bordetella pertussis.

Whooping cough is characterized by severe spells of coughing, which are followed by a ‘whoop’ sound before the next breath. Infants and children may experience complications such as vomiting, weight loss, breathing difficulties, pneumonia, convulsion, brain damage and rarely, death.

Although successful immunization programs have significantly reduced the number of cases, it still occurs in unvaccinated people.

  1. Public Health Agency of Canada. Vaccine-preventable diseases.
    Accessed March 17, 2016.
  2. Public Health Agency of Canada. Pertussis (Whooping Cough) – Fact Sheet. Accessed March 29, 2016.