For Immediate Release
July 24, 2007

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

KDHE Pays Tetanus Vaccine Costs for Disaster-Affected Counties

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) today announced that the department would pay the costs for tetanus vaccines delivered to Greensburg and flooded areas of northeast and southeast Kansas. Tetanus has long been identified as a top health concern for people working in disaster recovery areas where there has been significant damage to homes, businesses and other structures.

“Our thoughts continue to be with those who have been so profoundly affected by the recent floods and the May 4 Greensburg tornado,” stated Roderick L. Bremby, Secretary of KDHE. “Paying the costs of these vaccines will help ease the burden on numerous local communities that are on the front lines of responding to these truly monumental disasters.”

As of July 23, KDHE had coordinated the delivery of 5,570 doses of tetanus vaccine that cost $137,405.20 in response to the flooding in southeast and northeast Kansas. From May 7 to May 15, KDHE secured and arranged delivery of 3,510 tetanus vaccine doses costing $66,296.90 for residents and responders affected by the tornado that struck Greensburg.

The above figures account for doses delivered from vaccine manufacturers and from state health departments in Missouri, North Carolina and Illinois. KDHE purchased the vaccine directly from the manufacturers and through a multi-state contract administered by the state of Minnesota. KDHE will replace the vaccine supplied by the other states. A total of 911 doses costing $17,444.55 were also donated to flood-affected areas from Dickinson, Johnson, Leavenworth and Shawnee counties in Kansas.

Additional vaccine doses have been received by KDHE, and will soon be shipped to those counties still recovering from the tornado and floods.

The vaccines will be paid for through the Kansas Immunization Program, which is administered by KDHE. Members of the Kansas Center for Public Health Preparedness within KDHE helped obtain the vaccines while serving at the State Emergency Operations Center managed by the Kansas Adjutant General’s Department, Division of Emergency Management.