Sanofi Pasteur

We are very excited to welcome actress Sarah Michelle Gellar to the Sounds of Pertussis® Campaign. Like so many moms in our community, Sarah’s top priority is her children’s health.

The Sounds of Pertussis Campaign is a national education campaign from March of Dimes and Sanofi Pasteur to help raise awareness about the potential dangers of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, and the importance of adult tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccination. Started in 2009, the Campaign continues to help educate parents, grandparents, caregivers and others in close contact with infants about the importance of getting vaccinated with an adult Tdap vaccine to help protect themselves and to help stop the spread of the disease to infants.

Pertussis is a highly contagious and often serious disease, especially in young children.1,2 In adolescents and adults it is usually presented as a severe cough that may last for weeks and even months.1, 2 The best way to help prevent pertussis is timely vaccination with the recommended pertussis vaccines.3

Babies start pertussis vaccinations at two months of age, but they may not be fully protected against the disease until they’ve had at least three doses of an infant DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis) vaccine.4,5

Researchers found that when it could be determined how an infant caught pertussis, family members were responsible for spreading the disease to the baby in up to 80 percent of cases. 5,6 More specifically, parents were responsible up to 50 percent of the time.5,6 That is why the primary goal is to educate parents, grandparents and caregivers on the importance of adult Tdap vaccination.

To learn more about pertussis and the Sounds of Pertussis Campaign, please visit On the website, you’ll find information, resources and educational tools, including the Campaign’s new Facebook application – the Breathing Room – that allows parents to send a brief message to family and friends in their Facebook network asking them to make the pledge to be vaccinated against pertussis. The Breathing Room is intended to help parents track which members of their child’s circle of care have been vaccinated against pertussis. Once family and friends in their Facebook network confirm their vaccination through the application, their Facebook profile picture is populated in to the parent’s virtual baby nursery. The goal is for adult caregivers to commit to being vaccinated and build their own Breathing Rooms to help stop the spread of the disease to the infants in their lives. Visit to start building your Breathing Room.



1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Disease Information: Pertussis: Causes & Transmission. Accessed March 21, 2013.

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Disease Information: Pertussis: Signs & Symptoms. Accessed March 21, 2013.

3. 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. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2006; 55(RR-17):1-37. Accessed March 21, 2013.

4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Disease Information: Pertussis: Prevention. Accessed March 21, 2013.

5. Wendelboe AM, Njamkempo E, Bourillon A et al. Transmission of Bordetella pertussis to young infants. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2007;26(4):293-9.

6. Bisgard KM, Pascual FB, Ehresmann KR et al. Infant pertussis: who was the source? Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2004;23(11):985-9.

7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Disease Information: Pertussis: Prevention. Accessed March 21, 2013.

Most common questions

How does March of Dimes do as a brand?

March of Dimes is a premier nonprofit brand and a very strong nonprofit partner. The organization has a track record of achieving marketing and business objectives with its clients through its diverse portfolio of events and programs.

  • March of Dimes is #1 recognized major health charity by moms
  • March of Dimes is the #2 recognized major health charity by women

SOURCE: Gallup, 2008 and 2009

What standards does the March of Dimes go by?

March of Dimes strongly adheres to the standards of the National Health Council and the Better Business Bureau’s Standards for Charity Accountability

What's required to be a partner or sponsor?

All partnerships and sponsorships do require a letter of agreement (contract) before an affiliation or promotion is granted. A fact sheet is provided for reference and the Strategic Partnership Questionnaire is the first step in working together for stronger, healthier babies as a Partner or Sponsor.

©2013 March of Dimes Foundation. The March of Dimes is a non-profit organization recognized as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3).