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Sanofi Pasteur Donates Tdap Vaccine to Aid Storm Victims
Date:6/4/2011

itions raise the risk for people who are wounded or assisting with the cleanup efforts and are not up-to-date with their vaccinations. Tetanus bacteria, which are found in soil, can enter the body through cuts, scratches and wounds. It causes painful muscle spasms all over the body. It can lead to tightening of the jaw muscles, so the victim cannot open his mouth or swallow. Tetanus kills about 20 percent of people who are infected, but the disease is vaccine-preventable.

A tetanus booster vaccine is recommended for adults every 10 years. Two forms of tetanus vaccine are predominantly used in the U.S. -- Tdap, which provides protection against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, and Td, which provides tetanus and diphtheria protection.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a single dose of Tdap vaccine for adults and adolescents.  

"It's a popular misperception that diseases like pertussis are a thing of the past," said Thomas Tighe, President and CEO of Direct Relief International. "The fact is, in recent years it has made a strong and unwelcome comeback across the country. So, vaccinating with Tdap for tetanus protection has an added benefit – protection against the rising threat of pertussis. We are grateful to Jeff Gordon and to Sanofi Pasteur for their assistance, and for allowing us to continue to serve the affected communities as we heal and rebuild during this difficult time."

Access Family Care in Joplin, MO is one of the organizations that received some of the vaccine donated by Sanofi Pasteur to Direct Relief International.  "In the aftermath of the tornado, we recognized the immediate need to respond to the high potential of tetanus due to injuries sustained during the search and rescue, and clean up operations occurring throughout the city.  Thousands of volunteers have poured into the community particularly during the Memorial Day Holiday weekend, increasing our need for tetanus
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SOURCE Sanofi Pasteur; March of Dimes
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