Thousands of volunteer advocates, celebrities, medical experts and some of the country’s most influential voices joined together today with the United Nations Foundation in launching Shot@Life, a first-of-its kind campaign to build awareness, raise funds and advocate for the millions of children around the world who do not have access to life-saving vaccines.
More than 100,000 people, including world-renowned photographer Anne Geddes and some of the most influential online moms, are activating their networks across the U.S. and around the world to take action to save and improve the lives of children. First Lady Rosalynn Carter, former Mayor of Atlanta and UN Ambassador, Andrew Young; and Director of the National Center of Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Anne Schuchat; joined to kick off the campaign, the first time that such a broad group of grassroots advocates and dedicated partners have come together to celebrate the milestones of childhood and help mothers and their children in developing countries get a shot at a healthy life.
Every 20 seconds, a child dies of a disease that can be prevented by a vaccine. Though coordinated worldwide vaccination efforts have made significant progress, particularly in reducing cases of measles and polio, funding gaps could threaten these gains.
“The majority of Americans today haven’t had to worry about words like “polio” or “measles” or “rotavirus,” but these are the names of crippling, often deadly killers that still rob children of their childhood milestones around the world. Millions of parents in developing countries around the world still do not have access to life-saving vaccines for their children,” said Kathy Calvin, CEO of the UN Foundation. Shot@Life is bringing together world-class partners to build a movement of grassroots champions to help the United Nations and its partners get more vaccines to the kids who need them most.
The campaign has partnered with the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Red Cross, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Every Child By Two, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, Global Poverty Project, Lions Clubs International, Mocha Moms, Real Simple Magazine and Rotary International to broaden American support for immunizations against diseases like pneumonia, diarrhea, measles and polio to children in developing countries. Together, these partners are working with Shot@Life to benefit the GAVI Alliance, UNICEF and the World Health Organization which already save lives and improve the health of millions of children around the world every day. These partnerships were welcomed by a bi-partisan chorus of policymakers, government leaders and volunteers who are advocating on behalf of the value of vaccine efforts around the world.
“Investing in public health is one of the most important ways we can assist developing countries, and I am proud to lend my support to the United Nations Foundation and its efforts to save the lives of thousands of children through their Shot@Life campaign,” said U.S. Senator from Georgia, Johnny Isakson. “A program, such as Shot@Life, not only saves lives, but also empowers young people and in turn, uplifts developing nations. I am pleased to see that so many wonderful people and organizations, including the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control, are joining together to support this critically important effort.”
“As a parent and now grandparent, my heart breaks when I think of the children around the world who die every day from preventable diseases. I’m thankful that the Shot@Life campaign is bringing attention to the fact that through vaccines, these children could have healthy and long lives,” said U.S. Senator from Georgia, Saxby Chambliss.
Throughout World Immunization Week, over 30 grassroots Champions across the country are hosting Shot@Life events such as themed birthday parties, themed walks, and in-district meetings with their Members of Congress to raise awareness and highlight the need of increased global vaccine funding.
“From Los Angeles to New York and Seattle to Miami, thousands of Americans are rallying this week to get life-saving vaccines to children in developing countries who need them most,” said Devi Ramachandran Thomas, director of the Shot@Life campaign. “Their time, their voices, and the money they are raising sends a powerful message that Americans understand the value of vaccines and are ready to rally on behalf of millions of moms and their children worldwide.”
Shot@Life educates, connects and empowers Americans to champion vaccines as one of the most cost-effective ways to save the lives of children in developing countries. A national call to action for this global cause, the campaign rallies the American public, members of Congress, and civil society partners around the fact that together, we can save a child’s life every 20 seconds by expanding access to vaccines. By encouraging Americans to learn about, advocate for, and donate vaccines, the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign will decrease vaccine-preventable childhood deaths and give children a shot at a healthy life. To learn more, go to ShotAtLife.org.
About The United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.