Abstract Recently, pertussis has become a problem also in the adult population, with incidences even higher than in children. Pediatric health care workers (HCWs) are an important source of transmission, exposing very young and immunocompromised patients to an increased risk of potentially severe pertussis infections. Encouraging HCWs to get vaccinated can play a vital role in stopping the transmission of pertussis, thereby reducing institutional outbreaks. In Germany, HCWs come up with all sorts of reasons for not getting pertussis vaccination. This study was meant to provide information in order to better understand the backgrounds of these attitudes. A survey was conducted at the children's university hospital in Frankfurt, using an anonymous questionnaire. Survey results were used to design an intervention to increase the immunization rate of staff. Disappointingly, our efforts to increase the acceptance of the immunization program by providing information in advance were not yet satisfying. Misconception about pertussis vaccination was prevalent especially among nursing staff. The main reasons for non-compliance included: unawareness of an own risk of infection, the belief that pertussis is not a serious illness, fear of side effects, the belief that the pertussis vaccine might trigger the pertussis disease itself, and skepticism about the efficacy of the pertussis vaccination.