A handful of Jefferson County Public Schools students are walking today in support of World Immunization Week.
The campaign targets the estimated 1.7 million children that will die this year from diseases that have “all but disappeared in the U.S.” One in five children around the world do not have access to the life-saving immunizations needed to survive, according to the Shot@Life website. The map above shows data from the World Health Organization (WHO) on immunization coverage with measles-containing vaccines in infants.
The “World Immunization Week” is a campaign led by WHO, and along with it the Shot@Life campaign is launching this week to raise awareness of immunization issues affecting other countries.
As Time Magazine reports, while some diseases like measles have increased in areas of the world, deaths by measles has actually declined the past decade.
Myrdin Thompson is an active JCPS parent and has been appointed by the United Nations Foundation as a Shot@Life advocate. She was one of fifty selected and the only Kentucky representative.
Thompson recently addressed a group of students at Noe Middle School on the importance of advocacy and students filled out pledge cards stating why they believe all children deserve a “shot at life.”
The cards were delivered by Thompson to United Nations Foundation staff and some may be featured at the Shot@Life launch event being held in Atlanta on Thursday.
Today, several students will walk a mile to support the cause.
“The students wanted to do more than just fill out a card. So we talked about how many miles we as American’s walk for things like a ride at Disney World (spending the day at Disney is like walking 8-10 miles) but other people walk because access to live saving medicine is limited or unavailable in their area. It was decided to “walk a mile for a mom” to honor those in other nations,” Thompson wrote in an email to WFPL.