UN Foundation launches A Shot at Life

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Global campaign launched to target vaccine-preventable deaths and give children in developing countries a healthy start in life

The United Nations Foundation has launched 'Shot@Life', a campaign aiming to expand access to lifesaving vaccines for children in developing countries.

A national grassroots movement, Shot@Life will educate, connect and empower Americans to champion vaccines as one of the most cost-effective ways to save children's lives around the world.

Partnership

"Building on the success of the U.N. Foundation's other campaigns, we are honored to partner with leading experts in vaccine advocacy and delivery to work on the noble and urgent cause of increasing global access to immunisations," said Timothy E. Wirth, president of the U.N. Foundation in a statement.

"Shot@Life's groundbreaking partnership will bring hope to millions of parents around the world that their children will have a lifetime of protection from deadly and disabling diseases."

GAVI joins with other key partners in the campaign including UNICEF, American Red Cross, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lions International and ABC News.

Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI Alliance, formed part of the panel of experts during the campaign's launch and emphasised the cost effectiveness and importance of vaccines in reducing child mortality, and the critical leadership the UN Foundation has shown in this campaign.

Value of vaccines

Shot@Life's groundbreaking partnership will bring hope to millions of parents around the world that their children will have a lifetime of protection from deadly and disabling diseases.

Timothy E. Wirth, president of the UN Foundation

The Shot@Life campaign will build a grassroots constituency to advocate and donate to expanding access to childhood vaccines in developing countries, where many children die due to the lack of lifesaving immunisations.

Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective health investments in history.  Investments in immunisation yield a rate of return on a par with educating our children - and higher than nearly any other development intervention.

For only $20, a child can receive lifelong protection against measles, pneumonia, diarrhoea, and polio. Immunised children are healthier and therefore perform better in school, and go on to be healthy adults who are more productive at work, thereby supporting economic growth.

Critical issue

"Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a disease that could have been prevented by a vaccine," said Peg Willingham, Executive Director of Shot@Life.

"This campaign will work to expand access to vaccines and get them to the children who need them the most."

Each year more than 1.7 million children die of vaccine-preventable diseases, according to the World Health Organization. The two most common causes of childhood deaths are pneumonia and diarrhea. These diseases can be prevented by groundbreaking new vaccines, which if distributed widely, have the potential to save the lives of millions more children.

About the United Nations Foundation

The United Nations Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner's historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities.

The UN Foundation builds and implements public/private partnerships to address the world's most pressing problems, and works to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach. Through campaigns and partnerships, the organization connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems.

The campaigns reduce child mortality, empower women and girls, create a new energy future, secure peace and human rights, and promote technology innovation to improve health outcomes.  These solutions are helping the UN advance the eight global targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.

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22 million

Nearly 22 million [21.8 million] infants remain underimmunised in the world each year.

WHO/UNICEF

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