Pertussis continues to be an important public-health issue. The high immunization coverage rates achieved, mainly in industrialized countries, have certainly decreased the spread of the pathogen. However, as immunity wanes, adolescents and adults play an important role in the dynamics of the infection. The surveillance system has several limitations and the underestimation of pertussis in adolescents, young adults and adults is mainly related to the atypical clinical characteristics of cases and the lack of lab confirmation. The real epidemiological impact of pertussis is not always perceived. The unavailability of comprehensive data should not hamper the adoption of active prophylactic measures designed to avoid the impact of waning immunity against pertussis. Different immunization strategies have been suggested and/or already adopted such as immunization of newborns, pre-school and school children, adolescents, adults, healthcare workers, childcare workers, pregnant women, cocoon strategy. Prevention of pertussis requires an integrated approach and the adoption of different immunization strategies, with the objective of achieving and maintaining high coverage rates.
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