I was recently chosen to be a Shot@Life champion with the UN Foundation. This is the first of several posts about Shot@Life and why it is so important to children worldwide.
I can barely remember when I received my childhood vaccines. I am sure I cried. (Heck, I tear up at 34 when I get shots!) The memories I do have are sheet forts, camp outs, playing outside, riding my bike and many others. However, for many children around the world, they do not get the chance to experience these childhood moments. They do not get their vaccines and never experience childhood firsts. Why? This year, over 1.5 million children around the world will die from a disease that could have been prevented by a vaccine.
1.5 million children
For children living in developing countries, access to vaccines could be the matter of life or death. Or a lifetime of health or a lifetime of pain.
Here in the United States, we are given a choice on whether to vaccine our children. Some moms and dads do not have a choice. They can’t afford to choose. Polio was a disease that claimed the lives of millions worldwide and paralyzed nearly 1000 children a day, has been reduced by 99% worldwide due to a global vaccination effort over the last 20 years. India is the last country where polio is still present, but no new cases have been reported in two years. This is significant. This is an almost complete eradication of polio– thanks to vaccinations.
Most children in the United States grow up with healthy child visits. Doctors and nurses make sure they receive their vaccinations on schedule, protecting them from childhood diseases. But, most families in developing countries have to walk miles just to receive basic health care. The fact these families walk for miles for health care for their children is an indication how important providing vaccinations for children is.
I believe in childhood.
I believe that every child deserves a shot at life, no matter where they live.
I believe in saving a child’s life every 20 seconds by expanding access to vaccines.
I believe at giving children the shot at life they deserve.
Here in the United States, parents are given a choice whether to vaccine their children or not. This isn’t about your beliefs or convictions on vaccines. This is about giving a parent in a developing country the ability to CHOOSE to have their child vaccinated.
A $1 donation allows one child to receive a measles vaccine.
A $5 donation allows one child to receive a measles and polio vaccine
A $20 donation allows one child to receive a polio, measles, and pneumonia and diarrhea vaccine.
So, for the price of a candy bar or fancy coffee or dinner out, you could help save a child’s life.
One child dies every 20 seconds.
All children deserve a childhood.
What was YOUR first childhood memory?