Today’s post is about an initiative of the United Nations Foundation that is working to spread life-saving vaccines to kids around the world. I encourage you to watch this short video from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to learn more about vaccines.
According to the United Nations Foundation, around the world, one child dies every 20 seconds from a disease that can be prevented by a vaccine. The number of children dying each year from preventable diseases in developing countries is nearly equivalent to half the children entering kindergarten in the United States.
In September 2011, the United Nations Foundation unveiled their Shot@Life campaign to expand access to lifesaving vaccines for children in developing countries. The campaign also serves to educate Americans about vaccines as one of the most cost-effective ways to save children’s lives around the world.
Over the past 20 years, new cases of polio have dropped 99 percent making the world is nearly polio-free. The Measles Initiative has vaccinated one billion children in 60 developing countries since 2001, decreasing world measles deaths by 78 percent. Additional vaccines for pneumococcal disease and rotavirus are currently being introduced globally and, if distributed widely, have the potential to save millions more children. Vaccines provide a lifetime of protection for children and at just $20 per child anyone can help make a difference.
Shot@Life builds on the United Nations Foundation’s 13-year commitment as a partner in the Measles Initiative and Global Polio Eradication Initiative and spreads newer vaccines developed to prevent pneumonia and diarrhea, the leading killers of children. Shot@Life is supporting the work of its partners to expand access to existing vaccines for children in developing countries to protect them against four vaccine-preventable diseases, measles, polio, pneumonia, and diarrhea.
How can you help?
- You can start by visiting shotatlife.org to learn more about the initiative. Their website offers several ways to advocate for childhood vaccines including writing a letter to your representatives in Congress and spreading the word about global vaccines.
- You can also make a donation to help children around the world receive lifesaving vaccines. Just $20 will vaccinate one child.
- You can also help by spreading the word about Shot@Life by sharing this blog post on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media using the share options below.