The Solution: Vaccines

Vaccines save lives. Millions of children could be spared from measles, pneumonia, diarrhea, polio and other preventable diseases if we could simply get them the vaccines they need. Many children in developing countries lack access to vaccines — often because they live in hard-to-reach communities. The good news is access to vaccines has grown significantly in the last decade. Vaccines currently help save 2.5 million children from preventable diseases every year. With your help, global vaccination programs implemented by our partners can stop the 1.5 million unnecessary deaths that still happen every year, and ensure that all children, no matter where they live, have a shot at a healthy life.

Why Vaccines?

Vaccines work. Immunization has saved the lives of more children than any other medical intervention in the last 50 years. Vaccines are both safe and simple and are one of the most cost-effective ways to save and improve the lives of children worldwide. Without vaccines, children are more vulnerable to deadly and disabling diseases like measles, pneumonia, diarrhea and polio. Keeping children healthy through immunization is one of the best ways to ensure they reach important life milestones that we sometimes take for granted in the U.S.

When a child begins their life with the protection of vaccines, the door is then opened for their growth and development —first steps, first words, and a first day of school. Immunized children are more likely to celebrate their fifth birthday, do well in school and go on to be productive, healthy adults.

A healthier world truly benefits us all. Expanding access to vaccines strengthens our ability to fight disease globally and improve economic stability around the world.

Progress

Vaccines have won several battles against preventable diseases in the last few decades. Thanks to a coordinated global effort, the number of new cases of polio — a disease that once paralyzed more than 1,000 children a day — has dropped 99 percent in the last 20 years. The world is now nearly polio-free. We are on the path to similar success with measles. The Measles & Rubella Initiative has help to vaccinate one billion children in more than 80 developing countries. Since 2000, measles deaths has decreased by 78 percent; changing measles from a disease that used to be the leading killer of children to one that we are close to eliminating altogether. There are also groundbreaking new vaccines like — pneumococcal and rotavirus — that prevent pneumonia and diarrhea, and if distributed widely, also have the potential to save the lives of millions more children.

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