What We Are Reading: October Edition

Global vaccines have been in the spotlight lately with the World Health Summit, World Polio Day, and Shot@Life’s ongoing Mobilize to Immunize efforts, which lets U.S. lawmakers know there is strong nationwide support to fully fund global immunization programs. With so many great pieces published recently, we wanted to share a few of the Shot@Life team’s favorite recent reads about immunizations efforts and global health that we thought you might enjoy, too. 

Gabon Works to Overcome Vaccination Obstacles Caused by COVID-19 Pandemic with Help of Lions Club  

by Dr. Lebrun Kembo and Nico D’Auterive 

This piece from the Measles & Rubella Initiative blog provides some good news and inspiration on how “Gabon was able to regain its pre-pandemic progress, plus some, accomplishing a measles immunization rate of 64% in 2021.”  

Quote we loved: “With a grant from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), UNICEF purchased cold supply chain equipment to cover the needs of 51 health departments in Gabon. With this equipment, the 2021 IVAs were able to reach more than 11,000 children . . .” 

Polio eradication is in sight. Don’t stop funding it now 

By Seth Berkely 

Polio drops vaccine photo UNICEF in Pakistan


Seth Berkeley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, explains in Stat News exactly why it is so important that the world prioritize polio eradication now and fully fund the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). 

Quote we loved: GPEI aims to reverse that trend and . . . what’s different this time around is that, in addition to mass vaccination campaigns, the initiative’s new strategy will be intensely focused on finding targeted ways to reach missed communities and take advantage of opportunities to become more integrated with other essential services. In these communities, children are not just consistently missing out on protection from polio, they are also missing out on a whole range of other critical health interventions and other vaccines.” 

The Beating Heart of Health Systems 

by Helen Clark 

As co-chair of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, Helen Clark addresses why health system resilience matters so very much and what should be done to increase resilience in all countries. 

Quote we loved:We also recommended that countries invest in health and social protection to build resilient systems – and that these should be grounded in high-quality primary and community health services, universal health coverage, and a strong and well-supported health workforce, including community health workers.” 

Why I Am Hopeful We Can Turn The Tide On Childhood Immunization 

By Martha Rebour 

DRC photo vaccine

Photo: Ley Uwera

We wanted to make sure you did not miss this post from Martha Rebour, Shot@Life’s executive director, on the UN Foundation blog. She shares four of the reasons why she remains optimistic that global vaccination efforts can make up ground lost to the pandemic, despite the concerning news of recent setbacks.  

Quote we loved: While the effects of the pandemic and recent conflicts have had a grave effect on immunization coverage, thanks to the dedication of many individuals, programs such as Walgreens’ Get a Shot. Give a Shot.®, and technology, we are on our way to reclaiming lost ground and making the progress we need to give every child a shot at life.” 

BONUS – World Polio Day: “Vaccine-derived” polio, eradication, and surveillance 

If you are more of a listener than a reader, then check out this podcast episode of The Lancet Voice. Dr. Ananda Bandyopadhyay, deputy director of the polio team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, details what tackling polio now involves given detection of the virus in the US and U.K. this summer as well as why “[w]e need to reach that last child, in that last community, in the last country, to eradicate this virus.” 

Quote we loved: “The polio-free countries are not polio risk-free. . .. Because there are polio-endemic countries that still exist, that is why no other country is essentially polio-risk free because it is a highly infectious virus.” 

If these posts have you thinking about the importance of access to vaccines around the world, please sign our petition. If you want to advocate with Shot@Life, learn how to get involved here.

  • Shannan Younger joined Shot@Life in 2016. Prior to that, she worked as an attorney and a nonprofit professional. Shannan attended the University of Notre Dame, where earned her degrees in English and in law.  She also earned a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. She is a writer, with many pieces on health and...