Direct Relief Sends Next Wave of Vaccines and Other Cold-Chain Medicine to Texas

Multiple shipments of vaccines were packed into temperature-controlled containers in Direct Relief’s warehouse Tuesday. The shipments are bound for Texas clinics that have requested medical support. (Bryn Blanks/Direct Relief photo)

Many people are returning to a “new normal” after Hurricane Harvey left a destructive path across the state last month.  As clinicians began to see patients this week, many are trying to administer protective vaccinations as residents return to their communities, many of which have been devastated.

As patients return to their homes, there’s a significant risk of tetanus as they begin to clean up and repair. One concern is tetanus, a vaccine-preventable bacterial infection that can occur when bacteria enters the body, usually through a wound from a contaminated object.

The first line of defense against tetanus is the vaccine, and Direct Relief often sees an increase in request for this type of vaccine after disasters like hurricanes. There’s a concerted effort among state, local and nonprofit providers in Texas to make sure residents have access to tetanus vaccinations. 

Direct Relief had a reserve of the vaccines on hand for emergency purposes, which were sent to Texas. Sanofi Aventis made an additional donation of 5,000 doses of tetanus vaccine, and seven cold chain shipment left Direct Relief’s warehouse Tuesday, bound for clinics in Texas. 

Tetanus vaccine is packed in special temperature-controlled shipments, to be transported by FedEx. (Bryn Blanks/Direct Relief photo)

Tdap, a vaccine for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis, as well as vaccines for tetanus only, were packed and shipped in special temperature controlled containers from FedEx to maintain the quality and consistent temperature of the products. 

In addition to tetanus, insulin and personal care products were also sent Tuesday. The supplies will go to health care centers across the state.

With mold and mildew a growing problem in waterlogged homes, healthcare providers are anticipating an increased need for medicines to treat upper respiratory health problems.

Tuesday’s shipment also included inhalers, nebulizers and other supplies and equipment for clinicians to provide to patients in Texas.