Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Marion Pellicano Ambrose

My women's club was asking for a chairperson for our committee on Interatioal Outreach. Before I volunteered, I wanted to check out the topic a bit. I found so much information that really touched me, but there was one topic in particular that made me feel like I could step up and do something positive. It's called " Shot@ Life".

One child dies every 20 seconds from a disease that could be prevented  with a vaccine. Why? Because one in five children lack access to the life-saving immunizations that keep children healthy. 1.5 million children die every year

Children are disabled or killed every year by vaccine-preventable diseases like pneumonia, diarrhea, measles and polio. Pneumonia and diarrhea are the two biggest killers of children under five, and account for more than one-third of childhood deaths worldwide. Polio has recently reemerged in areas that had been polio-free for years and measles still kills an estimated 450 people each day—the majority of whom are young children.

Every child deserves a shot at a healthy life, no matter where they live. Yet, seventy-five percent of unvaccinated children live in just 10 countries. Vaccines are an especially important health intervention because they level the playing field for the most vulnerable children who are otherwise unlikely to make it to a doctor or a hospital. For these children, access to vaccines can mean the difference between life and death, a healthy life or a lifetime of struggle.

Immunization is one of the world’s biggest public health success stories. Yet, 1 in 5 children still lack access to the life-saving immunizations that help keep children in the U.S. healthy. Coordinated worldwide vaccination efforts have made significant progress, particularly in reducing cases of measles and polio, but funding gaps could threaten these gains. By scaling-up the delivery of vaccines we can save children’s lives and also save billions of dollars through reduced treatment costs and gains in productivity.

Vaccines save lives. Millions of children could be spared from measles, pneumonia, diarrhea, polio and other preventable diseases if we could simply get them the vaccines they need. Many children in developing countries lack access to vaccines — often because they live in hard-to-reach communities. The good news is access to vaccines has grown significantly in the last decade. Vaccines currently help save 2.5 million children from preventable diseases every year. With your help, global vaccination programs implemented by our partners can stop the 1.5 million unnecessary deaths that still happen every year, and ensure that all children, no matter where they live, have a shot at a healthy life.

Vaccines work. Immunization has saved the lives of more children than any other medical intervention in the last 50 years. Vaccines are both safe and simple and are one of the most cost-effective ways to save and improve the lives of children worldwide. Without vaccines, children are more vulnerable to deadly and disabling diseases like measles, pneumonia, diarrhea and polio. Keeping children healthy through immunization is one of the best ways to ensure they reach important life milestones that we sometimes take for granted in the U.S.
A healthier world truly benefits us all. Expanding access to vaccines strengthens our ability to fight disease globally and improve economic stability around the world.

Vaccines have won several battles against preventable diseases in the last few decades. Thanks to a coordinated global effort, the number of new cases of polio — a disease that once paralyzed more than 1,000 children a day — has dropped 99 percent in the last 20 years. The world is now nearly polio-free. We are on the path to similar success with measles. The Measles Initiative has vaccinated one billion children in 60 developing countries since 2001 and has decreased measles deaths by 74 percent; changing measles from a disease that used to be the leading killer of children to one that we are close to eliminating altogether. There are also groundbreaking new vaccines like — pneumococcal and rotavirus — that prevent pneumonia and diarrhea, and if distributed widely, also have the potential to save the lives of millions more children.

Whether you’re a parent with young children, a high school student, a health professional, a community advocate, or a blogger with a strong voice, it’s easy to get involved with Shot@Life. Here's what you can do.

Celebrate Childhood:

  • Hold an event for your friends in your home or for your local community to educate and engage others in the movement. Be sure to contact your local media about it ahead of time (see Resources below). Also, check back with us after the event and submit a Supporter Story.
  • Become a digital Champion for Shot@Life by promoting the campaign on your blog and social profiles.

Stand Up for Childhood

  • Write a letter to the editor or an op-ed voicing your support for expanded access to vaccines in developing countries.
  • Contact your members of Congress and tell them you support US funding for global immunization programs.
  • Speak at a local school, business, or community events.

Invest in Childhood:

  • Host a fundraiser – online or in your community to donate vaccines. For every $20 you raise, you can help immunize a child against four diseases.
There are many other ways that you can celebrate childhood and get involved with the Shot@Life campaign. Find more ways at :                                          

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