United Nation General Assembly’s 75th Session
For the first time ever, the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA75) kicked off this week in an all-virtual format. Under the theme “The Future We Want, the UN We Need: Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism,” UNGA this year will cover key issues including COVID-19 global collaboration, gender inequalities, climate change, and the Sustainable Development Goals. Here are just six global health events to put on your calendar, or check out the UN Foundation’s full guide to UNGA75.
Africa Is Certified Wild-Polio Free
On August 25, the African region was officially certified wild polio free! This historic celebration indicates there have been no wild polio cases in Africa for the past three years. Since 1996, the 47 countries have worked together to stop wild polio in hard to reach areas, resulting in:
There is still work to be done to eradicate polio for good: the last 0.01% of cases are endemic in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but this certification represents an incredible collective, global effort to save lives. Thank you for making historic moment possible. You can read more about this major milestone here.
Keeping the U.S. in WHO
This summer, the Trump Administration officially began the process of withdrawing the U.S. from the World Health Organization (WHO). The withdrawal puts longstanding investments and strides made to eradicate polio and eliminate measles at risk, and also diminishes WHO’s ability to effectively coordinate the COVID-19 global response. For decades, WHO has worked closely with the U.S. on issues long considered vital to American interests, like eradicating smallpox, containing infectious diseases, and developing the annual flu vaccine.
Last week, Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced a bill to ensure the U.S. fulfills its commitments to WHO, and urges for the U.S. to join efforts for the equitable distribution of a future COVID-19 vaccine. This follows an earlier letter from 33 of their Senate colleagues urging the President to reverse the decision to withdraw from WHO. You can read the bill here.
Protecting Progress: UNICEF Child Mortality Report
According to a new UNICEF report, the number of global under-five deaths dropped to its lowest point on record in 2019 – down to 5.2 million from 12.5 million in 1990. Since then, however, data reveal that the COVID-19 pandemic has majorly disrupted health services that threaten to undo decades of hard-won progress.
As Shot@Life continues to highlight the need to protect vaccine progress for routine immunizations put at risk by COVID-19, we invite you to join us in the Protecting Progress campaign. Stay tuned this fall to learn about ways your organization can partner with us to save lives during these critical times.
A Look Ahead
September 1 – November 30: Johnson & Johnson’s Donate a Photo is live, and features Shot@Life as a charity beneficiary. For every photo donated on the mobile “Donate a Photo” app, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 to the Shot@Life campaign – up to a total of $15,000. To learn more and how to download the app, click here.
September 1 – December 31: Walgreens and Shot@Life are teaming up again for Get a Shot. Give a Shot., an award-winning partnership that is helping provide 100 million lifesaving vaccines to children in need around the world by 2024. For every immunization administered in a Walgreens pharmacy, Walgreens will donate the cost of a vaccine to Shot@Life, up to a total of $2.6 million. To learn more or to find a Walgreens pharmacy near you, click here.
September 28 – October 2: Shot@Life’s Annual Fall Leadership Summit. The virtual summit will host 50 of Shot@Life’s leading advocates from across the nation to join a week of trainings, hear from global health experts, and advocate for access to global childhood immunizations. This week will then kick off Shot@Life’s fall advocacy campaign, Race to Erase, on October 1.
October 2: World Polio Day, an annual day of recognition in the fight to end polio.
November 12: World Pneumonia Day, an annual day of recognition in the fight against pneumonia.