Despite most being fully vaccinated for whooping cough, the infection is still present in about a fifth of UK children visiting their doctor with a persistent cough.

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is one of the most common diseases that can be prevented by vaccine. Worldwide, nearly 300,000 children die from whooping cough each year.

Since 1992, the UK has had a primary vaccine coverage for whooping cough of more than 90%. However, following vaccination, immunity is reported to last for just 4-12 years. Immunity following infection lasts longer, about 7-20 years.