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AdvocacyMay 2, 2013

World Immunization Week 2013

Today is the final day of World Immunization Week 2013. Throughout the past week, we’ve been in awe, hearing about supporters all over the world inspired to take up the fight for global vaccines.

Last week, the Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi brought together some of the leading voices in global immunization efforts, including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Bill Gates. What a success it was. To support the launch of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s 6-year endgame strategy, public and private donors pledged over $4 billion towards polio eradication efforts! United Nations Foundation’s President and CEO Kathy Calvin was in attendance and shared her thoughts on finishing the fight against polio.

To add to the World Immunization Week celebration, Shot@Life celebrated its first birthday! Supporters across the nation were inspired to plan community events, parties, documentary screenings, and more to spread the word about Shot@Life within their communities. Check out how a group of clever kids took part in the celebration as well!


Taking the party online, we launched a 3-day Shot@Life Birthday Bash celebrating our first year through blogs. Pairing bloggers from across the country with our amazing Shot@Life Champions we celebrated our birthday with over 50 Birthday Bash blog posts! We couldn’t have asked for a better birthday gift!

But the blogging fun didn’t end there. Each day during World Immunization Week, Shot@Life was a part of the Global Mom Relay – a groundbreaking online discussion with leading voices including Anne Geddes and Guy Kawasaki. Every time a relay post was shared online, Johnson & Johnson and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation matched the action with a $5 donation to the Shot@Life campaign. That’s enough to protect a child from polio and measles for his or her lifetime. The relay continues through May 6 so make sure to check it out!

As World Immunization Week draws to a close, Peter Yeo, the UN Foundation’s Vice President of Public Policy is in Cameroon seeing firsthand the impact that efforts by the United Nations and the United States are having in helping children lead healthy, happy lives. Read some of his blogs from the ground:

Immunization efforts have been extremely successful (the numbers of polio cases reported have dropped to just 223 in 2012). Before this week ends, make sure to read “Queueing up to be cured” by Katie Robertson – she travelled to India as a guest of the United Nations Foundation earlier this month. Get an update on the eradication of polio and more on these inspiring stories of teamwork and global support to prevent children from being crippled by the polio virus!

World Immunization Week 2013 showed that an impact can be made and lives will be saved, thanks to efforts by organization and supporters across the globe. Check out this Storify for a visual recap of the week!

Maggie Carter