I never seriously want a child to be as distraught as Jessica María, pictured. But the momentary discomfort of an immunization is worth it to keep a child from suffering a vaccine-preventable death. Through my role as a Shot at Life Champion, I am joining with other Champions in an initiative called “Advocate to Vaccinate – a Coast to Coast Challenge for Global Vaccination.” During Advocate to Vaccinate, which leads up to World Immunization Week (April 24-30), Shot@Life supporters in communities across the country are raising their voices to advocate for sustaining U.S. government support for global vaccine programs.
If you are a regular visitor to my blog, you have seen the basic facts of global immunization issues among my posts before. The most basic fact is this: Every 20 seconds, a child dies of a vaccine-preventable disease. (For more details about the global health threats of vaccine-preventable diseases, visit this link….) As I have said before, I know we face serious issues here in the United States, and those are not lost on me as I advocate for children across oceans. Children here on our shores, however, are affected by global immunization deficits. For example, there have been 106 confirmed cases of measles here in the United States since January 1, 2014.
(interviewer) You visit parts of the world where mothers walk for days to get their children immunized and in Canada, where it’s easy, it seems [some people] can’t be bothered.
(Dr. Berkley) The difference is that in the places where they walk for days they’ve seen their children die. They know all too well how deadly these diseases are. Parents all over the world want to help their children. If Canadian women were living in a community where, God forbid, they would see the graves of small children who died of measles every morning, they too would be clamouring, they would be doing everything in their power to get vaccines. Here the problem is invisible.
To treat a heavy subject slightly lightly for a moment, I am also a southerner, and those of us participating in Advocate to Vaccinate are engaged in a healthy competition to be the region that does the most (including in-district meetings with our congresspeople, letters to the editor at our newspapers, community events, digital events, and blog posts, to name a few). Honestly, I want the south to win, so I am giving it all I’ve got!
Andre Picard’s article was entitled, “Indifference Leads to Outbreaks.” I would love your help in eradicating indifference and, ultimately, eradicating vaccine-preventable diseases. Here are some ways you can help:
Visit www.advocate2vaccinate.org for more information.
Join my Twitter party which is being cohosted by @PamLovesBooks (please!) Wednesday night, April 9, from 8-9 p.m. Use the hashtag #adv2vax:
Become a champion yourself! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Advocate with your elected officials to continue support for global vaccine programs (they are a fraction of our national budget and they make such a difference). Shot at Life does most of the work for you! Click here to get started.
Make a donation. A $5 donation can protect a child from polio and measles for his or her lifetime. Donate via this link.
Yes, indifference leads to outbreaks. It makes me feel like this little girl at the top of this post. Join me in eradicating indifference in order to have a healthier world. Let’s give kids a shot at life.