This year, April 24-30 is World Immunization Week, and based on the screams emanating from the pediatrician’s office on my last visit, I’m guessing this isn’t one my kids are thrilled about. But as they get older, they’ll know why they should be.
Vaccines save lives—an estimated 3 million per year, in fact. As a mom, I want to do everything I can to make sure my kids aren’t at risk for contracting polio, measles, or any other disease once cut young lives short. Mothers in the developing world don’t always access to these immunizations though, and right now 20% of the world’s children aren’t getting the vaccines they need to stay healthy.
I want all kids to be able to fill up their immunization cards (like these cuties up top), so I’m excited about the work the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign is doing to make these vaccines available.
Here’s three ways you can help.
Right now, Shot@Life is focused on eradicating measles in the Philippines, and for just $20, you can provide ten children with lifetime immunity to measles. So skip pizza one night and make sandwiches instead. Give up a few lattes. Bring lunch to work for a couple days instead of buying it. That $20 will be put to excellent use.
2. Get vaccinated at Walgreens
Are you headed out of the country for travel this summer? Obviously wherever you get your vaccinations is fine, but if you happen to get them at Walgreens through their Shot@Life shot-for-shot program — with the exception of the flu shot — and they’ll provide a second life-saving immunization for a child in the developing world. You might even run into Amanda Peet, above, who’s been an outspoken and passionate advocate for immunizations.
(Also, Liz got to spend a little time with her as one of the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life digital ambassadors, and can’t say enough nice things about her, and of her in-depth knowledge of the issues.)
Photo via MomTrends
3. Talk about it
Talk with your kids about why you put them through the torture of a shot when they visit the doctor, and let them know how thankful you are that the vaccine is available for them. Also, how it doesn’t just help them, but other kids too. And if you want to share beyond your own household, we’re loving the thoughtful I want to give kids a Shot@_______ posters we’re seeing around social media tagged with #vaccineswork. It’s a creative way your kids can get involved in raising awareness too.
Learn more about Shot@Life and ways you can get involved to help eradicate totally preventable fatal childhood diseases at the UN Foundation website.