Five years ago, I began volunteering with Shot@Life, an organization within the United Nations Foundation, that rallies the American public and members of Congress around the fact that together, we can save a child’s life every 20 seconds by expanding access to vaccines. 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.
As a volunteer with Shot@Life, I have two objectives: Advocate to members of Congress to support vaccination programs worldwide and to educate others about the importance of global access to immunizations. Once a year, I visit with members of Congress in Washington, D.C. to update them about the progress and success of Shot@Life and their partners. Such as the Measles Initiative that has vaccinated one billion children in 60 developing countries since 2001, decreasing world measles deaths by 74 percent. I also continue that dialogue with my Members of Congress throughout the year in their district office.
The education portion of my role is one of my favorites. Last week, I had the opportunity to train fifty pre-med student members of American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) on the best practices for advocating about the importance of increasing access to vaccines to children everywhere.
It was wonderful sharing my advocacy experience with the students this past weekend. Vaccines are one of the most safe and cost-effective ways to save and improve the lives of children. They need our voice, we can give children around the world a shot at life.