GSK supports National Immunisation Program (NIP) with additional whooping cough protection via an 18-month dose on the NIP

GSK Australia is proud to be partnering with the Australian Government to re-introduce a diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (DTPa) vaccine on the National Immunisation Program for children at 18-months of age.

The 18-month dose will be in addition to the current primary series of pertussis (whooping cough) vaccinations administered at 2, 4 and 6 months with a booster at 4-years.

Infanrix® is a combined diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis (DTPa) vaccine.

Two Australian studies have identified that during the last pertussis outbreak (2008-2012), siblings aged less than 4 years were the most commonly identified sources of pertussis infection for infant siblings under the age of one.1,2

Dr Andrea Forde, GSK Vaccines Medical Director, said with the number of whooping cough notifications in Australia at an all-time high, the inclusion of the 18-month dose is timely and welcomed.

“Children between 18-months and 4-years play an important role in overall disease transmission, in particular to vulnerable, younger infants under 6-months who aren’t fully vaccinated. The inclusion of the 18-month dose on the NIP is another measure to improve control of pertussis in both age groups and to increase protection for all Australians overall.” said Dr Forde.

Pertussis epidemics are generally cyclic in nature, recurring every 3-4 years, with Australia’s last epidemic ending in 2012.3

About pertussis

Pertussis (also known as whooping cough) is a highly contagious infection of the respiratory tract, that can spread by coughing, sneezing or through direct contact with fluid from the nose or throat of an infected person.3

Whooping cough usually begins with an irritating cough, which gradually develops into repeated bouts of coughing. In infants especially this can be followed by a characteristic ‘whoop’ and difficulty inhaling. Coughing can last for 1-2 months or longer.3

Important Safety Information for Infanrix in Australia4

All medicines and vaccines can have side effects, sometimes these are serious, most of the time they are not. Some side effects may need medical treatment. Most unwanted effects with Infanrix are mild and usually clear up within a few days. The most common side effects following vaccination with Infanrix were pain, redness and swelling where the injection was given; fever (38C or higher); feeling tired, irritable or restless; loss of appetite; vomiting or diarrhoea; unusual crying and itchy skin. There are other side effects that occur less commonly or rarely, check with your doctor or nurse if your child has any side effects that are troublesome or ongoing.

Infanrix should not be given to children that have an allergy to any ingredient of the vaccine or previous vaccination with diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis vaccination; or if they have experienced disease of the brain within 7 days after previous vaccination with a pertussis-containing vaccine. Before having Infanrix, tell your doctor if your child has any existing medical problems or is currently unwell.

Additional notes:

The information contained within this media release does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to healthcare professionals. Please speak to your healthcare professional for further information about Infanrix.

You can follow GSK on Twitter for more Australian updates @GSK_AU.

For more information please refer to the Consumer Medicine Information on or contact GlaxoSmithKline Australia Pty Ltd. PO Box 18095, Melbourne, VIC 8003. ABN 47 100 162 481. Infanrix® is a registered trademark of the GSK Group of Companies. AUS/INF/0004/16. Date off approval: February 2016


Kim O’Donohue
0477 322 431


  1. Bertilone, C et al., (2014) Finding the ‘who’ in whooping cough: vaccinated siblings are important pertussis sources in infants 6 months of age and under. Communicable Disease Intelligence,38 (3) 195-200.
  2. Jardine, A et al., (2010) Who gives pertussis to infants? Source of infection for laboratory confirmed cases less than 12 months of age during an epidemic, Sydney, 2009. Communicable Disease Intelligence,34 (2) 116 – 121).
  3. Pertussis vaccines for Australians. NCIRS Fact sheet: July 2015. Accessed February 2016.
  4. Infanrix Consumer Medicine Information available from