Tuesday, June 28, 2022

VACCINES: Investment needed now

| April 23, 2021 1:00 AM

As we have seen with the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, diseases know no boundaries and can spread easily. The miraculous development of several COVID-19 vaccines has only shown how effective vaccines are in stopping the spread of infectious disease rapidly across the world. Luckily, even when it comes to other diseases beyond COVID-19, we have access to tools like vaccines to control outbreaks and save lives.

People are often shocked to learn that each year, 1.5 million children die of vaccine-preventable diseases. However, debilitating diseases such as polio and measles can be eliminated with increased access to vaccines around the world. As a polio survivor myself, I appreciate the support of individuals and organizations to end the life-threatening disease worldwide. Since 1988, global polio cases have decreased 99.9%, and an estimated 16 million people are walking, thanks to the polio vaccine.

We can increase access to lifesaving vaccines with the help of organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As an advocate with the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign, I help support these organizations and their mission to strengthen global immunization programs.

The United States government should invest more in global vaccine programs, which currently make up less than 1 percent of the U.S. federal budget. Please contact Representative Fulcher and Senators Risch and Crapo in Idaho and encourage them to robustly fund global childhood immunization programs. Thank you,


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