Merck Animal Health Proudly Supports Vaccination Programs Targeted at Reducing Disease in Domestic Pets


September 28, 2013 8:00 am ET

More Than One Million Doses of Rabies Vaccine Donated

In recognition of World Rabies Day, and in an effort to reduce the
number of people dying of the disease, Merck Animal Health (known as MSD
Animal Health outside the USA and Canada) is proud to support canine
rabies vaccination programs in some of the most at-risk regions in the
world. To date, more than one million doses of veterinary rabies vaccine
have been donated in the effort to eliminate the risk to human health in
these regions.

Rabies is a debilitating and deadly problem that affects people and
their pets all over the world. According to the World Health
Organization, more than 55,000 people die of rabies every year, mostly
in Asia and Africa. For this reason, Merck Animal Health has donated up
to 300,000 doses of lifesaving veterinary rabies vaccine to those
regions this year alone. The program runs in more than 20 developed
countries, where participating veterinarians and pet owners who chose
Merck Animal Health’s Nobivac® vaccine, have their usage
matched by a company donation of rabies vaccine.

“We are extremely proud to have been able to provide more than one
million doses of rabies vaccine supporting important programs targeted
in the most at-risk regions in the world,“ states David Hallas,
Associate Vice President, Merck Animal Health. “These volunteer-based
programs work to prevent, control and ultimately eradicate rabies from
these regions.”

Afya Serengeti Program in Africa – Means ‘Health in Serengeti’ in

The Afya Serengeti program, founded as a university-based research
project by Professor Sarah Cleaveland in 1997, has prevented thousands
of cases of rabies around the Serengeti National Park in Africa.
Research has shown that domestic dogs acted as the reservoir of rabies,
accounting for 85% of human exposures in the region.

Since the start of the program, deaths attributed to rabies have been
reduced by 86% in vaccinated areas and since 2006, no rabies deaths have
been reported in any vaccinated African Maasai villages.

‘Mission Rabies’ in India

‘Mission Rabies’ is an initiative of Luke Gamble, organized through his
charity, Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS). The mission has been
working toward its goal to vaccinate 50,000 street dogs in 10 rabies hot
spots in India throughout September. Of the worldwide deaths attributed
to rabies, over a third are reported to occur in India, affecting mostly
people of poor or low-income socioeconomic status. Between 30-60% of
those deaths being children under 16. It is estimated that 15 million
people in India are bitten by animals annually.

Continued Commitment

“We have aspirations to create a world free of rabies, which we believe
is achievable through programs like those we support today,” says David
Sutton, Technical Director, Merck Animal Health. “Our goal is to not
only donate vaccines to help eliminate rabies in the countries with the
greatest risk, but to gain additional scientific data that will help us
to understand the spread of rabies and how best to control it.”

Merck Animal Health encourages pet owners to help veterinary
professionals continue in the fight against rabies and vaccinate their
pets today. For more information visit,,

About Merck Animal Health

Today’s Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be
well. Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United
States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of Merck.
Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and
governments one of the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals,
vaccines and health management solutions and services. Merck Animal
Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being
and performance of animals. It invests extensively in dynamic and
comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck
Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products
are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit

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Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking
statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or
otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ
materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be
found in Merck’s 2012 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other
filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at
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Please see Prescribing Information for Nobivac®
Vaccines at

Amy Firsching, 908-473-6357


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