The Global Pertussis Initiative (GPI) was established in 2001 to assess the global extent of the ongoing problem of pertussis and to evaluate and prioritize pertussis control strategies. Exchange of data, knowledge, and experience, facilitated by discussion and debate, resulted in the formulation, in 2002, of the following recommendation: all countries should consider expanding existing vaccination strategies to include adding pertussis booster doses to pre-school children (4-6 years old), to adolescents, and to those specific adults that have the highest risk of transmitting Bordetella pertussis infection to vulnerable infants. The GPI met again in 2005, where it reinforced its previous recommendation for universal adolescent immunization. Additionally, the GPI recommended implementation of the cocoon strategy (immunization of family members and close contacts of the newborn) in countries where it is economically feasible, and encouraged efforts toward global standardization of pertussis disease clinical definitions and diagnostics. Universal adult vaccination is a logical goal for the ultimate elimination of pertussis disease, but feasibility issues remain obstacles to implementation.