I am so honored to be one of the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life Champions. Earlier this week about 45 women and moms from all over the U.S. came to Washington to brainstorm and get advocacy, fundraising and media training to begin a movement to spread the word about vaccinations and help save children around the world. The official campaign will launch at the end of April.
Did you know a child dies every 20 seconds from diseases like measles, pneumonia, diarrhea and polio for example, diseases that are totally preventable?
The United Nations teams crammed as much information into us over the two days as they could possibly fit. I didn’t know you could die from chicken pox. My children both had chicken pox and are both here happily living their lives. Other children aren’t that fortunate. I was horrified to learn 1.7 million children die each year and we have the means to prevent those deaths.
Think about this:
• one in five children doesn’t have access to life saving vaccines.
• we may be vaccinated in the U.S., but what if we travel outside of the U.S.?
• diarrhea cause one death per minute globally
• the number of children dying is nearly equivalent to half the children the U.S. entering kindergarten each year
Vaccinations have already helped so many. The world is almost polio free. India is just about to be declared polio free. And deaths from measles have been decreased by 78% through the vaccination of one billion children in over 60 developing countries.
It struck me, as I looked around the room, how many of us would still be in that very room today if not for access to vaccines. I know I had all my various immunizations. And made sure my children had all of theirs. My daughter has even had the HPV vaccination.
Every Champion is going back to their home state to create their own individual campaigns. Some of us will be joining forces. But all of us have one goal to save the lives of children so they may grow up to ride a bike, laugh, learn to swim and get a chance to live a full, happy life.
If you would like to join me in helping to give kids a Shot@Life, please let me know. Or join us at www.ShotatLife.org