A Decade of Advocacy

Ten Year Report

2012-2021

Letter from the Director

When Shot@Life was founded in 2012, the World Health Organization had just announced the start of the “Decade of Vaccines.”

Shot@Life hosted a small summit where a handful of advocates, wearing bright green shirts, marched up Capitol Hill to ask members of Congress to help give all of the world’s children access to vaccines. Little did we know the decade would end in a global battle against a deadly, new coronavirus.

Ten years in, with more than 350,000 supporters and 3,000 trained grassroots advocates from across the United States, the Shot@Life campaign has given many children around the world a shot at a healthy life. We have helped double U.S. government investments in global immunization programs between 2012 and 2021; joined with global health partners to eliminate polio in Africa; and worked with corporate partners to provide direct grants to UNICEF and WHO, delivering an additional 108 million vaccines to children in some of the hardest-to-reach communities in the world. We have learned a few things along the way:

Letter from the Director

Advocacy Works.

Our grassroots advocates – known as our “champions” – are our greatest asset. Their activism has inspired U.S. policymakers to steadily vote to increase global immunization program investments. Even under an administration that wanted to zero out funds for UN partners, our champions convinced Congress to preserve funding levels for these lifesaving programs.

Working in partnership multiplies our collective impact.

Shot@Life grassroots advocates number in the thousands, but coming together at opportune moments with peer advocacy organizations and civil society partners exponentially increases the volume of our message and ensures it is heard by busy members of Congress. Working as part of a team with our UN and global health agency partners ensures all integral components of the global immunization process – policy, planning, manufacturing, and delivery – are fully supported, from the lab to the remote village health clinic. Shot@Life is a proud champion of this comprehensive process as it brings us closer to the goal of ending vaccine-preventable deaths.

#VaccinesWork – and the world realizes it now more than ever.

Many of us had taken the accessibility and lifesaving benefits of vaccines for granted because we were no longer seeing diseases like polio or measles in the U.S. Living through the COVID-19 pandemic – and being among the first to have access to lifesaving vaccines – has reminded us again how fortunate we are. Vaccines are the closest thing we have to a silver bullet when deadly, infectious diseases exist in the world. Vaccines save lives.

Infectious diseases do not respect borders.

The global health community has been saying this for some time, but the COVID pandemic has made plain the inescapable fact that the world is in this together when it comes to infectious diseases. A coordinated, equitable, global response is not only a moral imperative, but a strategic necessity to combat an infectious disease and protect everyone.

Letter from the Director

As we celebrate Shot@Life’s 10th anniversary, I am heartened by what we have accomplished together to improve the lives of so many children.

With vaccines in the spotlight more than ever before, we’ve got a lot of important work ahead to ensure children around the world – and people of all ages – have access to vaccines that will keep them safe and healthy. Global vaccine equity will allow for a healthier, brighter future for all.

Martha Rebour

Executive Director, Shot@Life

What We Do

Shot@Life is a U.S. grassroots advocacy campaign of the United Nations Foundation that champions global childhood immunization to ensure children around the world have access to lifesaving vaccines, no matter where they live.

How We Do It

We rally members of the public, members of Congress, businesses, and civil society partners to support and invest in the global childhood immunization programs of our partners: UNICEF, World Health Organization, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, CDC, and USAID.

We Educate

Shot@Life educates the U.S. public about global childhood immunization issues and promotes the work of our UN partners. We aim to make global health information more accessible, raise awareness about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, and inspire our supporters to take action.

We Advocate

Shot@Life recruits, trains, and mobilizes a network of grassroots advocates from all 50 states to ask members of Congress to provide robust funding for global childhood vaccine programs in the U.S. federal budget. Our advocates sign petitions, meet with their representatives, and rally their communities to help decrease vaccine-preventable childhood deaths around the world.

We Partner

Shot@Life also engages private sector partners in the effort to give all the world’s children access to lifesaving vaccines. Our corporate partners, their customers, and their employees support our campaign’s U.S. advocacy program and the global immunization work of our UN partners.

Key Stats

Shot@Life's first decade, by the numbers.

230K+

Grassroots Engagements With Policy Makers

Resulted in

$5B+

In U.S. Federal Funding for Global Childhood Immunization Programs

$26M

Contributed By Partners and Donors

Resulted in an additional

108M

Vaccines to Protect Children

23.2M

Children's Lives Saved From Measles

Thanks to collaboration with global health partners

18M

People Walking and Not Paralyzed By Polio

A Decade of Shot@Life

U.S. Federal Funding for Global Childhood Immunization Programs

Over the past 10 years, Shot@Life advocacy efforts DOUBLED the annual U.S. investment in the programs of:

Real Impact, felt around the world.

Combatting Measles Outbreaks in Brazil During COVID-19 Pandemic

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, parents like Edicarlos were understandably afraid to leave home to bring their children for routine immunizations. “We didn’t come to vaccinate because we were social distancing.” The problem is that, wherever there are unvaccinated pockets of children, measles outbreaks emerge — and they did in Brazil — as the disease is far more contagious than COVID-19.

To protect Edicarlos’s daughter, Maria, and other children in the country, the Pan American Health Organization (the regional office for the Americas of the World Health Organization), quickly but carefully orchestrated an emergency, mass vaccination campaign against measles in 2020, adhering to all pandemic safety protocols. This was no easy task, but parents like Edicarlos can now rest easy knowing his daughter is protected from measles.

Photo courtesy of PAHO/Karina Zambra

Granting Impact Countries

  • Afghanistan
  • Belize
  • Bhutan
  • Brazil
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • C.A.R.
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • China
  • DR of Congo
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Guatemala
  • Guinea
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Mauritantia
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Pakistan
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Tanzania
  • Timor-Leste
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Zimbabwe
  •  

Looking Ahead

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our world forever, giving renewed prominence to the conversation around immunizations.

As the entire world waits to be immunized—and health workers, scientists, and members of civil society navigate the challenges surrounding manufacturing, distribution, and safety—we must also protect the decades of progress made possible by vaccines that are now at risk, due to disruptions in routine immunization schedules. Equity must be at the center of the vaccine conversation, ensuring that every child gets a shot at life.

As we look to the next decade, Immunization Agenda 2030 outlines a world where everyone, everywhere, at every age will benefit from vaccines. The goal? Averting 50 million deaths, 75% of them in lower and middle-income countries. If, in this past decade, we have eliminated measles in the Americas, wiped out wild polio in Africa, and exponentially advanced vaccine science in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we know we will together get even closer to achieving good health and wellbeing for all in this next decade.


Shot@Life is grateful to have many partners who support our work and would like to recognize these special partners:

  • “The Shot@Life campaign indeed illustrates not only the need for, but a solution to educating, connecting, and empowering the global public to support vaccination programs.”

    Dr. John Nkengasong, Africa CDC Director

  • “Shot@Life brings together diverse advocates from all walks of life around one issue: reaching the world with vaccines. Their advocacy is critical to advance the immunization agenda globally — and they do it in an exciting and tangible way.”

    Dr. Seth Berkley, Gavi CEO

  • “I want to thank the United Nations Foundation. Together, we will end the pandemic—but we must do more than that. Together, we must make sure that health is not a luxury but a fundamental human right and the cornerstone for the safer, fairer and more sustainable world we all want.”

    Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General

  • “Over the past 10 years, Shot@Life has been a critical partner for UNICEF. By providing financial support for our polio eradication and measles and rubella program, and by advocating on Capitol Hill for vaccine equity and educating the public about the importance of global immunization, Shot@Life is helping UNICEF move closer towards ensuring that no child dies of preventable causes.”

    Henrietta Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF

INVEST IN A HEALTHIER WORLD. IMMUNIZE A CHILD.

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