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Ingrid Vandebosch, Wife of NASCAR Champion Jeff Gordon, Models Perfect Stance Against Pertussis Following Son's Birth

NEW YORK, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Ingrid Vandebosch, wife of NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon, is modeling perfect new mother behavior by getting her Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis) booster vaccine to help protect herself against pertussis (whooping cough) and reduce her risk of transmitting the disease to her newborn son.

(Photo: )

(Photo: )

Vandebosch and Gordon, who got his Tdap booster in June, are leading the fight against pertussis as spokespeople for the Sounds of Pertussis Campaign. Vandebosch received her vaccine after recently giving birth to the couple's second child, Leo Benjamin, on August 9.

"I didn't know about pertussis when I had my first child, and as a parent, I would never want to put my baby at risk. Now that I know I can decrease the risk of spreading pertussis to Leo by getting an adult pertussis booster vaccine, I got vaccinated. And I encourage other new parents to speak with their health-care providers about getting an adult Tdap vaccination," said Vandebosch.

Vandebosch and Gordon became involved with the Sounds of Pertussis Campaign after learning how vulnerable newborns are to getting the highly contagious disease from their own parents. Researchers have found that when a source of a baby's pertussis could be identified, family members were the source for up to 80 percent of pertussis cases in infants and, more specifically, parents were the source 50 percent of the time.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all adults and adolescents between the ages of 11 and 64 -- especially those who have close contact with an infant—be immunized with a Tdap booster. The CDC also recommends that if a new mother has not received a pertussis booster vaccination prior to becoming pregnant, that she get the immunization in the immediate postpartum period to protect herself from pertussis and reduce the risk of spreading the disease to her baby.(1)

Pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough, is caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacteria.  It is highly contagious, spread through airborne droplets expelled from the nose and throat through a cough, sneeze or even by talking very close to another person.(2) In adults, symptoms are usually mild, and pertussis is often mistaken for the common cold or even bronchitis.(3) However, in some infants and adults, the disease can cause severe coughing characterized by the unforgettable "whoop" sound made when a person is gasping for breath after a coughing fit.(2) The disease is on the rise across the country. In June, California declared a pertussis epidemic, which has claimed the lives of seven infants. Between 2000 and 2009, the total number of pertussis cases reported to the CDC in the U.S. was approximately 150 percent higher than the total number of cases reported during the 1990s.(4,5)

Adult vaccination against infectious diseases like pertussis, which can easily be spread to babies, is just one precaution suggested by health-care experts. Parents should also ensure that children are up-to-date on all of their vaccinations to help protect them against childhood diseases.

About the Sounds of Pertussis

March of Dimes and Sanofi Pasteur are working together on the Sounds of Pertussis Campaign to help protect the health and wellness of adults and infants. The mission is to raise awareness about pertussis and to let parents and others in close contact with infants, know how important it is that they get vaccinated with an adult Tdap vaccine.

The Sounds of Pertussis Campaign features a public service announcement (PSA) starring Gordon, as well as online and print educational patient materials designed for parents and family members available in many health-care provider offices. Parents and other caregivers can view and share the video PSA, learn more about the disease, hear the sound of pertussis, and create a personalized video message to post to their Facebook page by visiting Families who have been directly impacted by pertussis are also encouraged to visit the website and share their story about their experience with the disease.

In addition to the PSA, the campaign includes components to directly engage parents in helping to educate their friends and families about pertussis prevention for themselves and the babies in their lives. Consumers can help make a difference in the fight against pertussis by downloading a song from the Sounds Track 4 Change™. This is a playlist of Gordon's favorite road tunes available at  Five percent of the proceeds from every song purchased from the playlist will be donated to the March of Dimes for pertussis education.(a)

Additionally, to remind adults to get a Tdap booster, Sounds of Pertussis has created a special text reminder program in which adults can text the word "SOUNDS" to 292929 and  receive a text message in five days reminding them to get vaccinated against pertussis.(b)

For additional information about pertussis and immunization, and the relationship between Sanofi Pasteur and the March of Dimes, please visit The March of Dimes does not endorse specific products or brands.

About March of Dimes

The March of Dimes is the leading organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit or

About sanofi-aventis

Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of everyone. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group, provided more than 1.6 billion doses of vaccine in 2009, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine industry, Sanofi Pasteur offers the broadest range of vaccines protecting against 20 infectious diseases. The company's heritage, to create vaccines that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests more than EUR1 million in research and development. For more information, please visit or

For additional Sounds of Pertussis Campaign media materials, please visit

(a) For all inquiries or to obtain a copy of The March of Dimes financial filing form or a current financial statement, please call [914-997-4488], or write to The March of Dimes at 1275 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains, NY 10605. Also visit for more information.

If you are a resident of one of the following states, you may obtain a copy of the official registration or license and financial information directly from the state agency listed below (the toll-free numbers are for use only within the respective states). The license is not an endorsement by the state.

Florida: Call the Division of Consumer Services toll-free, 1-800-435-7352 (1-800-HELP-FLA). Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state. Maryland: Documents and information submitted under the Maryland Solicitations Act are available from the Office of the Secretary of State, Statehouse, Annapolis, MD 21401, 1-800-825-4510 or 410-974-5534. New York: Department of Law (Office of the Attorney General), Charities Bureau – Registration Section, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271. North Carolina: Call the State Solicitation Licensing Branch at 919-807-2214. The license is not an endorsement by the state.

Obtaining financial information from your state may require additional fees. This purchase is not tax deductible. Regulations vary by state. For more information, please contact your state agency.

(b) Standard messaging charges may apply.


(1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Disease Information: Pertussis. US Dept of Health and Human Services 2005; Available at: Accessed on March 22, 2010.

(2) Kretsinger K, Broder KR, Cortese MM et al. Preventing tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis among adults: use of tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccine recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and recommendation of ACIP, supported by the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC), for use of Tdap among health-care personnel. MMWR Recomm Rep 2006;55(RR-17):1-37.

Available at: Accessed June 7, 2010.

(3) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Pertussis. In: Atkinson W, Hamborsky J, McIntyre L, Wolfe S, editors. Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine Preventable Diseases. 10 ed. Washington, DC: Public Health Foundation; 2007. p.81-100.

Available at: Accessed June 7, 2010.

(4) Hennessy-Fiske, M. California declares whooping cough epidemic. Los Angeles Times. Available at:,0,5232560.story. Accessed July 20.

(5) Hennessy-Fiske, M. California declares whooping cough epidemic. Los Angeles Times. Available at:  Accessed July 21.

SOURCE Sanofi Pasteur; March of Dimes
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
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