he United Nations Foundation today revealed Shot@Life, a new campaign to expand access to lifesaving vaccines for children in developing countries. A national grassroots movement, Shot@Life will educate, connect, and empower Americans to champion vaccines as one of the most cost-effective ways to save children’s lives around the world.
“Building on the success of the UN Foundation’s other campaigns, we are honored to partner with leading experts in vaccine advocacy and delivery to work on the noble and urgent cause of increasing global access to immunizations,” said Timothy E. Wirth, President of the UN Foundation. “Shot@Life’s groundbreaking partnership will bring hope to millions of parents around the world that their children will have a lifetime of protection from deadly and disabling diseases.”
The Shot@Life campaign will build a grassroots constituency to advocate for and donate to expanding access to childhood vaccines in developing countries, where many children die due to the lack of lifesaving immunizations. For only $20, a child can receive lifelong protection against measles, pneumonia, diarrhea, and polio. When children are immunized, they are more likely to celebrate their fifth birthday, do well in school, and go on to be productive, healthy adults.
“Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a disease that could have been prevented by a vaccine,” said Peg Willingham, Executive Director of Shot@Life. “This campaign will work to expand access to vaccines and get them to the children who need them the most.”
Success is within reach. The Measles Initiative has vaccinated over one billion children since its inception in 2001, and has reduced deaths globally by 78 percent. The number of new cases of polio has dropped 99 percent and the world is nearly polio-free. Yet there is still more work to be done.
Each year more than 1.7 million children die of vaccine-preventable diseases, according to the World Health Organization. The two most common causes of childhood deaths are pneumonia and diarrhea. These diseases can be prevented by groundbreaking new vaccines, which, if distributed widely, have the potential to save the lives of millions more children.
Shot@Life will support the work of the United Nations and other partners to provide vaccines to children in developing countries. Together with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, the GAVI Alliance, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Red Cross, Lions Clubs International, and ABC News, Shot@Life will work to save lives and improve the health of millions of children.
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, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. The UN Foundation builds and implements public/private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and works to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach. Through campaigns and partnerships, the organization connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The campaigns reduce child mortality, empower women and girls, create a new energy future, secure peace and human rights, and promote technology innovation to improve health outcomes. These solutions are helping the UN advance the eight global targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.