Tuesday, March 4, 2014

ID: Diptheria Vaccines To Nome

As you may know, in 1973 the Iditarod sled dog race began. Several reasons are quoted as to why the race began, one of which is to commemorate the role sled dogs and the Iditarod trail played in the 1925 diphtheria outbreak in Nome. You will have heard the famous stories of Balto and Togo and the mercy dash carrying vaccines.

This year Aliy is carrying 10 doses of the Tdap vaccine in her sled to Nome as part of an vaccines awareness campaign organised by the Norton Sound Health Corporation (NSHC). Tdap is tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis vaccine and is designed as a booster for those patients age 7 years old and older. Tdap is also given to every pregnant woman during every pregnancy to prevent disease to the mother and unborn child. Tdap is required by Alaska state law for students to attend public school.

There will be a week of vaccine awareness events in Nome where people can go to the public vaccine clinic and receive the Tdap vaccine and influenza vaccine at no charge. The Nome UAF will hold two informational speaking events by Dawyn Sawyer, PA. Dr. Karen O'Neill is the physician at NSHC who is the administrator of the vaccine program and will be receiving the Tdap vaccine. Rod Gordon, R.Ph. is the Pharmacy director and Lisa Schobert is the Vaccine Coordinator for NSHC (Nome and 15 villages) and who came up with this idea to help bring vaccine awareness to the community.

Martin Buser and Robert Sorlie are also carrying vaccines to Nome - Martin the DTaP which tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis vaccine designed for children 2 months to 6 years old and Robert is carrying Td, which is tetanus and diphtheria vaccine for adults.

Another part of vaccine awareness is the "I did it by Two" campaign. You may have seen some of the dogs in the Ceremonial Start wearing dog jackets - ours are modelled below by Schmoe, Biscuit and Dingle.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Woof, woof, woof!!!

This is what it is all about - history, health and 4-legged angels!

--Margaret

Jennie B. said...

Balto would be so proud! I would consider that an honor to carry the vaccines. Aliy and team winners in more ways than one!

marilyn cozzens said...

What a great concept--it is great Aliy & is participating in the cause. I was wondering about those dog jackets. Thanks for the great report & pictures. D on Allen's team.ingle looks like a proud dog to be waring the jacket also

Nessmuk said...

Thats very cool! I held an IditaLunch at work last week and was asked if any mushers carry the diphtheria vaccination to commemorate the 1925 life saving sled dog relay...at the time I said no...but I stand corrected! Ill be sure to print your post for the break room lunch table! I love how the Iditarod is used for awareness of great causes!

Lourdes, VT said...

That is a commendable cause! I'm so glad that Aliy is one of the vaccine carriers to Nome! It befits her because of her love for sled dogs and the Iditarod Trail.
And.... last but not least, Dingle, Schmoe and Biscuit, are the perfect ambassadors for the cause, AND also the CUTTEST of ALL the sled dogs in the world!!!

Lourdes, VT said...

PS. Schmoe's enthusiasm for the race is contagious! I've observed him since the Ceremonial Start, and he is the picture of enthusiasm!!!

stormy said...

This is aserious issue and i thank you all for being actively involved in it.Alot of previously "eradicated" diseases are coming back secondary to parents not vaccinating their children d/t fear of the vaccines .

Anonymous said...

Thank you Aliy for being part of this great opportunity to promote vaccine awareness and for carrying the vaccine on the Iditarod trail.

MG said...

that is so cool. THANK YOU ALIY for being an example.

swordwhale said...

wow!
Thanks for posting this!
I had no idea!
Go Aliy!

Sheila Ramos said...

in class we are doing a project of the iditarod Rce and i choose Aliy Zirkle GO ALIY!!!!