Advocacy means taking actions that encourage policymakers to take a position on an issue or cause. Advocacy can be everything from participating in letter-writing campaigns, attending public meetings, and even holding information sessions with elected officials. You can advocate from your kitchen table, your computer – or even at the gym! Educating friends and family over dinner, speaking out online in support of an issue, and wearing a t-shirt that makes a statement are all advocacy actions.
By supporting Shot@Life, you are joining a long-term advocacy network that will educate policymakers and the public on the importance of life-saving vaccines for children in developing countries.
Advocacy is a very important part of Shot@Life’s mission, and something we all should be passionate about. It is important that you, as a constituent, voice your support for these issues to your representatives in Washington, so that they feel supported in their decisions to defend critical global health and child survival programs. This will allow you to impact public policy in a way that will create lasting change.
Learn how Congress plays a critical role in global vaccines:
Shot@Life advocates for continued U.S. support for global vaccines programs. This includes supporting funding and policies through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, known as the GAVI Alliance.
At a time when our legislators must make difficult choices about how to spend our hard-earned tax dollars, vaccines continue to be a “best buy.” Preventing disease overseas also helps protect us here at home. The U.S. contributes approximately $350 million annually to global immunization programs and initiatives.
Additionally, the U.S. works with agencies of the United Nations, including the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO), to buy and deliver vaccines for children in developing countries. These global vaccination efforts have an outstanding track record of success to date, but we need your help in ensuring this momentum continues.
There are many ways to advocate with Shot@Life for global vaccines.
- Meeting with members of Congress.The most powerful way to influence a policy change is to meet with your representatives in both the House and the Senate — either in Washington, or right in your home town at the members’ district office. These meetings are a chance for you to speak with your member and share your passion on the issue of global vaccines. This type of interaction may seem intimidating, but actually, it can be quite empowering and is often well-received (and welcomed) by your elected official! Meeting with your representative in Washington is your right as a citizen, and it is an unparalleled education opportunity. Remember, YOUR vote can help keep them in office, so they value your opinions.
- Building relationships with congressional staff members.Members of Congress are responsible for dealing with so many issues and it can be a lot to keep up with, so they often rely a great deal on their staff for research, opinion and guidance. Meeting with a “staffer,” and building a relationship with them can be just as important and impactful as meeting directly with your member of Congress. These staffers can be powerful allies if you get them on your side.
- Take advocacy actions through the Shot@Life website.Advocacy doesn’t have to involve leaving your house! You can make a difference by sending an email to your member of Congress, tweeting at them, or posting to their Facebook page. You can even call your member of Congress’ office while you are cooking dinner or folding laundry! Shot@Life makes it easy for you to take your voice to Washington in support of global vaccines.
- Get other members of your community involved.A strong and united voice has the largest impact. Teach and encourage members of your community to advocate for global vaccines through the options listed above. Below are some additional ideas on how you can get members of your community united behind this cause.
- Host a letter-writing party. What is better than sending one letter to a member of Congress? Sending 50 letters! Get your friends together for a different kind of party; one that could save a child’s life. Shot@Life provides sample letters or you can use this sample as a template and write your own!
- Pass out Shot@Life advocacy cards during an event. Don’t have time to write an entire letter? Download the Shot@Life advocacy card with room for you to fill in a brief comment about why you want your member of Congress to support global vaccines. Pass them out. Fill in the blank. Send them back to Shot@Life, and we will take care of the rest
Now, do you feel inspired to become an advocate for Shot@Life?
Are you ready to take your voice to decision-makers in Washington? Great! We are here to help. Follow the steps below, and let’s get started.
- Learn more about the U.S. Government’s role in global vaccines
- Take the Shot@Life Pledge
- Take your first advocacy action
Congratulations! You are officially a Shot@Life Advocate!
Ready to take the next step?
Consider calling your member of Congress. Click here for easy steps and a script.
Want to make even more of an impact? Schedule a meeting with your member of Congress. Learn how to schedule a meeting and a script of what to say when you meet.
How did it go? Shot@Life wants to hear all about it. Share your story!