Around the World: Giving the Gift of Vaccination

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Parents PACK

Vaccines truly are the gift that “keeps on giving” as they protect against dangerous and potentially fatal illnesses. 

Vaccines truly are the gift that “keeps on giving” as they protect against dangerous and potentially fatal illnesses. In fact, the routine childhood immunizations most American children typically receive protects against 14 different diseases. Unfortunately, this is not the case for children in developing countries. More than 3 million people die from vaccine-preventable disease each year, and approximately half of these deaths are in children younger than 5 years of age.

Charitable organizations such as UNICEF, Shot @ Life, and others have started initiatives to empower Americans to decrease vaccine-preventable deaths of children in developing countries. The programs allow members of the public to make donations to purchase vaccines for others around the world. Modest donations — $5 to protect a child from polio and measles for life or $50 to vaccinate 50 children against measles and rubella for life — can be life-saving gifts.

So at this time of year, when giving and receiving are central to the holiday experience, remember that sometimes the simplest gifts can last a lifetime.

Additional resources

Shot @ Life: Vaccinations against pneumonia, diarrhea, polio and measles
The Red Cross: The Measles and Rubella Initiative
UNICEF: Vaccinations against malaria, polio, tetanus and measles
Rotary International: Polio Eradication Initiative 

Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.

You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.