Earlier this week, I wrote a new piece for Huffington Post. In it, I explored how 99% of the children in Honduras are vaccinated, despite all the odds. Meanwhile here in the United States, we have a vaccination rate of 93%. It is remarkable to me that despite all the science and medicine pointing to the safety and importance of vaccinating our kids, people still choose to opt out. I”m not sure if it’s as much a true fear of what the vaccines might do to their kids or is it this: relying on herd immunity. In other words, if everyone else is vaccinating their kids, then your kid is safe and you can dismiss the vaccines and any apparent risk it might pose to them because other people’s vaccinated kids will keep your kid disease free. I think the recent outbreak of measles in Indiana from 2 unvaccinated kids at the Super Bowl tells us that herd immunity thinking doesn’t work.
Last month, I was lucky enough to attend a Shot@Life conference hosted by the UN Foundation. If you’re not familiar with the Foundation’s newest campaign, it is themed around this basic idea that all children deserve a chance to reach milestones that we take for granted here in the United States, like learning to crawl, walk or have a first day of school. But in developing countries, where a child dies every 20 seconds from a preventable disease, mothers never take for granted or assume their children will reach these milestones. A team from the UN Foundation traveled to Honduras last month to learn more about how the country is so effectively immunizing its children and I am excited to offer you this inside glimpse from the UN team about their trip.
In the meantime, I hope you’ll read my piece, share, or comment. Every kid deserves a chance to reach their milestones.