Every Child Deserves a Shot at Life


Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting pieces from our Founding Mission List Members. Every day, these women are using their influence to shape their communities and create positive change at home and abroad. The below post is from Stacy Ferguson. The running joke on the Internet lately has been #FirstWorldProblems – I like that those using the hashtag are poking fun at themselves and acknowledging just how good us American moms have it because it reminds us all of the small luxuries that moms in other countries are forced to go without.

Imagine that basic vaccinations are one of those small luxuries.

Here, we don’t have the worry that our child will die of measles or polio or pneumonia or diarrhea.  Diarrhea. Can you imagine? It’s practically a given that each of our children will experience diarrhea at least once and to think that it could be fatal for children in other countries is mind boggling to me.

Now I know that the topic of vaccines is becoming increasingly controversial among parents here in the U.S., but – let’s be honest – it’s because we can afford the luxury of choosing against them.  In a third-world country where vaccines keep children alive, there is no debate.  The moms want them and their children need them, period.

Consider some of these facts:

  • Seventy-five percent of unvaccinated children live in just 10 countries. For children in India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, China, Uganda, Chad and Kenya, access to vaccines mean the difference between life and death, a healthy life or a lifetime of struggle.
  • This year, 1.7 million children will die from diseases that have all but disappeared in the U.S. Why? Because one in five children around the world do not have access to the life-saving immunizations needed to survive. 

I learned of these facts at an event that I was invited to this past Friday hosted by Wired Momma and Dolci Gelati on behalf of the UN Foundation and the Shot@Life Campaign.  A group of local DC bloggers came out for an evening of delicious desserts and action-oriented conversation surrounding a cause that hits close to home for all of us with children.

What stuck with me the most was how inexpensive the cost of the vaccinations are; for example, the polio vaccine is just 17 cents per child!

Today kicks off WHO’s World Immunization Week.  In celebration, the Shot@Life campaign is on a mission to vaccinate 1,000 children by Mother’s Day 2012.

As my girl Lara from Chicken Nuggets of Wisdom exclaimed during the event: “That’s it? 1,000 children? We can take care of that right NOW.”

I’m with Lara – let’s do this. Whatever your position on vaccinations for your own children, let’s give mothers in under-developed countries the choice as to whether they can give their child the immunization that they need to live.

Here’s how you can help:

Just last week, I wrote about my sister contracting meningitis as a toddler – that was in the early 80s, before the meningitis vaccine became a standard requirement for all American children.  My sister lost her hearing as a result of that – preventable –  illness.  Children around the world are losing their livesfrom not having access to the vaccines they need. Let’s give them the choice to live.

Justice Fergie’s Life IS the Party inspires readers to celebrate the everyday! A long-time entertaining enthusiast, Stacey (aka Justice Fergie), loves throwing parties, cooking, decorating, getting glam, and all things special occasion-related.  Through covering lifestyle topics related to Family, Success, Food, Style and Life, Stacey – a wife and recovering lawyer mom of 3 children under 8 years old – reminds us to infuse our daily lives with memory-worthy experiences.  Her {re}Treat Yourself Lifestyle Event Series brings this philosophy to life.  She is an avid blogger, event producer, social media personality, public speaker, freelance writer, and Chief Curator of the Be Blogalicious community and conferences.