Welcome to Advocate2Vaccinate 2021!

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The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted immunization programs around the world, which has already proven to have immediate, damaging effects on vaccine coverage and the health of children everywhere.  For the next four weeks, Shot@Life Champions across the country will be mobilizing their communities to help continue to expand access to childhood immunizations across the world. Together, we can make sure our members of Congress know their constituents support global vaccination efforts and understand the vital role the U.S. plays in the lives of children around the world. 

There are multiple ways to get involved in Advocate2Vaccinate (A2V)! Below, we provide step-by-step instructions and a checklist for you to participate in all our advocacy activities for this activation. In light of the ongoing pandemic, we ask that all Congressional meetings, fundraising, and advocacy events during A2V be conducted virtually. Let’s Advocate2Vaccinate!

Take three minutes to ask Congress to fully fund global immunization programs in the 2022 fiscal year! The easiest way to send an email to your elected officials is by signing our petition, which automatically sends emails to your members of Congress. The petition has a pre-filled message, but we encourage you to customize it.   

As the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated with devastating results, now is a critical moment to protect the progress made in immunizations. This year, we are advocating for level funding with the 2021 fiscal year for global immunization programs through UNICEF, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, USAID, and WHO, and requesting a 20% increase from FY21 for the CDC’s polio and measles programs.

Note: If you already have a relationship with a staffer in your in-district offices, we encourage you to send your own customized email rather than using the petition form. This is a great way to continue building more personal relationships with the offices!   

Use our social media toolkit to help spread the word with your social networks! You can find suggested messages and downloadable graphics to share on your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles.   

Throughout the month of April, we’ll have some fun giveaways as we amplify the important message that children everywhere should have access to lifesaving vaccines. If you aren’t already, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @shotatlife and Facebook at @shotatlifecampaign to join in on the fun. Don’t forget to tag us and use #VaccinesWork when you post throughout Advocate2Vaccinate!

Calling your legislators is a great way to advocate for global childhood immunizations directly! To make the biggest impact, join us on our national call-in day leading up to World Immunization Week on Tuesday, April 27, when Champions across the country will also be calling their representatives. Find your House representative and use our call-in line at 202-902-6614 to reach Capitol Hill! Using this number helps Shot@Life track our outreach efforts.  If you aren’t able to join us on the call-in day, you can call anytime during the month of April using the following resources as a guide. 

Note: If the office gets back to you with a specific appropriations request form, please let us know and we will help fill it out.

Submitting a letter to the editor (LTE) to your local newspaper is a great way to raise awareness about global vaccine access and get the attention of your representatives when you set up meetings with them.     

Below are some resources to guide you while writing your LTE. Our team is eager to support you, whether in the drafting or editing process. Please contact the communications team at media@shotatlife.org for questions regarding LTEs.   

Hosting a virtual advocacy or fundraising event is a great way to raise awareness about global immunization programs! Here are some ideas to get you started, but feel free to be creative and plan any events that your community will be interested in. You can let your event attendees know that the easiest and quickest advocacy action they can take is signing our active petition at shotatlife.org/petition.

1. Host a Phone Bank: Gather some friends to call your representatives together! Since we are in this virtual environment, feel free to invite fellow Shot@Life Champions from any district. After preparing your talking points as a group, you can make your separate calls.  

2. Attend a Tele-Town Hall: Many members of Congress are hosting regular townhalls via teleconference. Sign up for community newsletters and Congressional mailing lists so you can stay up to date on events that are being held! If you are set to attend one of these, please let us know and we’ll provide you some questions about global vaccine funding customized for your member of Congress. 

3. Join an LTE Writing Party: Publishing media advocacy pieces is an effective way to get the word out on why vaccines are important locally and globally. Hop on a Zoom call to have a writing party, working with other Champions to coordinate news outlets to submit to!

4. Start a Facebook Fundraiser: Throughout April and World Immunization Week, setting up a Facebook fundraiser to encourage your friends to donate to Shot@Life is easy!

Meeting with your Congressional offices is the highest-impact advocacy action that you can take all year! Whether you are a seasoned Shot@Life advocate or this will be your first time setting up meetings, we are here to support you throughout the process. Read more about scheduling, preparing for, and holding your meetings below.

If you are interested in becoming an Advocacy Lead to help set up in-district Congressional meetings for Champions in your state, please fill out this short application, and a member from the grassroots team will be in touch with you.

Note: If the office gets back to you with a specific appropriations request form, please let us know and we will help fill it out. 

Feel free to email us at champions@shotatlife.org with any questions and don’t forget to report your actions at www.shotatlife.org/report when we wrap up April 30. Until then, let’s Advocate2Vaccinate!