In a discussion with health advocates from across the country about immunizations this week, I realized how truly essential and invaluable an immunization becomes when considering the global perspective. The power of vaccines comes forth when we realize that our access to them could be restricted or taken away all together.
“In fact 1 in 5 children from around the world lack access to life-saving immunizations”. The very basic foundations of good health can be uncovered when looking at preventative measures. There is a movement to protect children that begins as soon as they are born. To some that may mean, getting the safest car seat, making sure to buy baby friendly laundry detergent, breastfeeding for the first year of life. For others protecting children has a greater sense of immediacy. It means making sure there is a roof over their head, clothing, and access to life-saving vaccines.
“In countries like the U.S., most children already receive life-saving vaccines. Because of this, American parents don’t typically worry about losing their children
to deadly diseases like measles or pneumonia.”
Roughly 75% of all children that are unvaccinated live in 10 countries, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, China, Uganda, Chad and Kenya. And while the US is not represented in this list, there is legislation being introduced every day that could limit access to health services and further censor the health education that youth, and families receive.
The CDC provides us with 5 important reasons to immunize children:
1) It protects others you care about
2) Immunizations save your family time and money
3) Immunizations save your child’s life
4) Vaccination is safe and effective
5) Immunizations protect our future generations
Looking through the local lens, Researcher Dr. Jason Glands of Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health reports that 1/10 additional whooping cough (Pertusis) infections could have been prevented by vaccination. The March of Dimes has also taken a stance on the importance of Pertusis immunizations in children, stating that prevention is the best defense.
Whether locally, or globally, a healthier community truly benefits us all. “Expanding access to vaccines strengthens our ability to fight disease and keep our families healthy here at home, while improving economic stability around the world.”
What you can do to Advocate:
Help save the life of a child every 20 seconds, and stop the nearly 2 million unnecessary deaths that happen every year globally please visit the Shot At Life website: http://shotatlife.org/
Shot At Life:
March of Dimes: