How do you explain to your young child that while childhood vaccinations are routine in the United States, and required to attend a public school, that 1 in 5 children around the world don’t even have access to receive those life saving vaccinations?
Over the next few weeks you’re either running around like crazy trying to gather all of the school supplies that your kid(s) need, or you’re thinking about how in the world you’re going to find the time to gather those school supplies. I’m of the latter.
While we’re busy thinking about – or running about trying to get – school supplies our kids will need, kids in developing countries are just hoping for a chance at life without disease. I mentioned this to my youngest (11) and because he haaaaaaaaaates getting shots, he was like “oh, that’s find with me”.
So we headed to Walgreens.
Because, thanks to #CollectiveBias, I heard that Walgreens is currently working with the United Nations Foundation Shot@Life on a #GiveaShot campaign.
This means that for every shot that is given to a child at a Walgreens, a life saving vaccine, like measles or polio, is given to a child in a developing country.
Since my guy hates shots and Walgreens is working on this fabulous campaign, I thought we’d head to Walgreens and do a little back to school shopping and we would talk about the Get a Shot, Give a Shot campaign.
We stopped at the pharmacy area where I could show him the details of the campaign and that I wasn’t just feeding him information to dummy-down his fear of getting a shot.
I asked him if he understood why regular vaccinations were important and why we all should get them and why public schools require them. He does understand fully that vaccinations are a key to living a healthy and preventable disease free life.
As he debated over which color pencil holder he wanted, I explained to him that children in other countries were suffering every day from illnesses that could be prevented with a vaccine. A vaccine that he wishes he didn’t have to have. They didn’t care about pencil holders, they cared about surviving.
We talked about how while he might dislike getting a shot, the parents of children in some countries wished that their child could have that shot to allow them a chance at a healthy life.
I talked to him in depth about the importance of vaccinations (which he gets) and the lack of vaccinations in other countries and I told him about the United Nations Foundation Shot@Life campaign and how Walgreens was going to provide one shot for every shot given to a child in their store and it clicked in his brain; the awesomeness of this campaign.
If picking the pencil holder is difficult, choosing the colors of folders was even moreso, but he realized that not having access to a life saving vaccination was the most difficult of all.
1 in 5 children around the world don’t have access to life saving vaccinations. I broke this down for him: out of the 36 kids in his class last year 7 of them were more likely to contract a deadly or debilitating disease like polio or measles while the other kids had a chance at a normal life. Wow. He gets math… that’s 20%.
It seemed unfair to him and I agree that it is. Be a part of the success story while you’re getting your school supply shopping done and get your vaccinations at Walgreens.
To make it even easier on you, while you’re thinking about things like school supplies give a second to think about the Shot@Life campaign and stop into your local Walgreens for a shot. No appointment is needed. Most insurances are accepted and Walgreens will report back to your primary care physician.