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Embracing Vaccine Advocacy During Global Public Health Week

The annual recognition of Global Public Health Week serves as a poignant reminder of the collective responsibility we have to safeguard the health and well-being of individuals worldwide. As a part of this, we shine a spotlight on one of the most prominent tools in our public health arsenal: vaccines.

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Vaccines are a pillar of global public health and stand as a testament to humanity’s ability to triumph over infectious diseases. Through rigorous scientific research and dedicated immunization efforts, vaccines have eradicated smallpox, curbed the spread of polio, and prevented countless deaths from diseases like measles, mumps, and rubella. However, their effectiveness relies heavily on widespread acceptance and uptake.  

Vaccine advocacy encompasses a spectrum of efforts aimed at promoting the importance, safety, and efficacy of vaccines. Empowering individuals with accurate information, dispelling myths and misinformation, and fostering vaccine trust in the global community are core to Shot@Life’s mission. But the significance of vaccine advocacy extends far beyond individual health; it’s about protecting entire communities and advancing global health equity.  

One of the most pressing challenges in vaccine advocacy continues to be countering the tide of misinformation that threatens to undermine public trust in vaccines. Especially since the advent of COVID-19, we have witnessed an alarming rise in anti-vaccine rhetoric propagated through media platforms and other online channels. These falsehoods not only erode confidence in vaccines, but also pose a tangible threat to public health.  

As we celebrate Global Public Health Week, let us reaffirm our commitment to vaccine advocacy, working to amplify the voices of scientists, healthcare professionals, and public health experts who tirelessly champion the importance of immunization. To hear from some of these inspiring individuals, check out the videos below. 

Hear from Dr. Peter Hotez, a champion of vaccine advocacy at the global level, about why advocacy matters in the fight for vaccine equity.
Global childhood vaccination rates declined to their lowest levels in 30 years due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more from Jessica Malaty Rivera, a science communicator and champion of global vaccine advocacy.

Learn firsthand from health worker and Shot@Life Champion Tricia Souza about why vaccine advocacy is important to nurses.

By advocating for vaccines, we are not only safeguarding our own health, but also standing in solidarity with vulnerable populations worldwide. Together, let’s embrace the spirit of Global Public Health Week and work to ensure that everyone, everywhere, has a shot at life. 


Holly Pappano

Holly Pappano is the Communications Associate for the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign. Prior to this position, she was an intern for United to Beat Malaria, Shot@Life’s sister campaign. Holly previously interned with Kinesso of Interpublic Group, spent time in South Korea as a fellow and ESL teacher, worked as an ambassador for the Study of the U.S. Institutes for Student Leaders, and more. She graduated from Miami University in May of 2023 as a triple-major in East Asian Languages and Cultures, Applied Linguistics, and Psychology, and has also studied at Xiamen University, the University of Glasgow, and the University of Seoul.