sanofi-aventis GroupSanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group, announced that Russia has chosen inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) from Sanofi Pasteur for primary immunization of all infants. The IPV doses are provided by M.P. Chumakov Institute of Poliomyelitis and Virus Encephalitides through a manufacturing agreement with Sanofi Pasteur.

IPV vaccination started in the summer of 2008 as part of Russia National "Project Health". Four-million doses of IPV IMOVAX PolioTM have been delivered to date, ensuring that a complete birth cohort (approximately 1.3 million babies are born every year in Russia) can receive the recommended three doses of IPV vaccine.

"The Chumakov Institute was the first to produce oral polio vaccine which was instrumental in eradicating poliomyelitis in Russia," said Academician Sergey Drosdov, Senior Scientific Advisor of M.P. Chumakov Institute of Poliomyelitis and Viral Encephalitides Russian Academy Medical Sciences. "Today, IPV is the vaccine of choice for post-eradication polio immunization programs and the Institute is proud to bring this vaccine to Russian children."

The Russian Federation was certified polio-free in 2002. Since 2006, children from certain at risk groups are vaccinated with IPV. Starting mid 2008, all children less than one year of age are vaccinated following a sequential schedule: three doses of IPV for primary immunization, followed by two doses of oral polio vaccine (OPV).

"Every year in Russia, over 1.3 million children will be vaccinated with IPV and will benefit from its enhanced safety profile," said Dr. Vladimir Tatochenko, Professor of pediatrics, Head of Diagnostic Department of Scientific Center of Children Health, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences. "IPV fits perfectly with the Russian childhood immunization calendar. DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) vaccine and IPV will be administered during the same pediatrician visit. The existing high DTP vaccination coverage will ensure the success of IPV vaccination."

About poliomyelitis
Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus that invades the nervous system and can cause severe paralysis. The virus enters the body through the mouth and multiplies in the intestine. Initial symptoms are fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, and pain in the limbs. One in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis (usually in the legs). Among those paralyzed, 5-10% die when their breathing muscles become immobilized. Polio mainly affects children under five years of age. In 1994, the Region of the Americas was certified polio-free by the World Health Organization, followed by the Western Pacific Region in 2000 and the European Region in 2002; worldwide efforts are continuing towards global eradication of this contagious and devastating disease.

About sanofi-aventis
Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of everyone. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY). Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group, provided more than 1.6 billion doses of vaccine in 2007, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine industry, sanofi pasteur offers the broadest range of vaccines protecting against 20 infectious diseases. The company's heritage, to create vaccines that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests more than EUR1 million in research and development. For more information, please visit: or

IMOVAX PolioTM is a trademark of Sanofi Pasteur.