A Message of Gratitude from Rosalynn Carter and Betty Bumpers
Last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) held a press conference to announce the many enormous benefits of the Vaccines For Children program. In the 20 years since the program began, hospitalizations and lives saved through vaccination have resulted in a $295 billion savings in direct costs and $1.38 trillion in total societal costs. Additionally, the CDC estimates that vaccinations among the children born over the last 20 years will prevent more than 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths.
In an effort to thank the members of Congress who enacted the important legislation that led to the creation of the Vaccines For Children program 20 years ago, Every Child By Two founders, Rosalynn Carter and Betty Bumpers, sent the following letter to the members of Congress, thanking them for their continued support and encouraging them to attend a special event at the Capitol Visitor Center today, to view the student documentary Invisible Threat and to talk with a special panel of immunization experts.
We are writing to you as the co-founders of Every Child By Two (ECBT) to urge your continued support of vaccinations. We founded ECBT in 1991 to protect all children from vaccine-preventable diseases by raising parental awareness of the need for timely immunizations, fostering a systematic method to locate and immunize children, and providing convenient access to immunization services into the future.
Three years later, in 1994, Congress established the Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program to remove financial barriers for parents unable to afford vaccinations for their children. In addition, the VFC has been instrumental in ensuring that children receive all their needed vaccines by enrolling nearly 44,000 private vaccination providers. Last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in the years since the VFC was established by Congress children have been spared from more than 322 million illnesses and 732,000 deaths. This has saved our country over $1 trillion dollars in societal costs.
We are truly grateful to Congress for establishing the VFC program, and we hope that you will continue your support of vaccines. We would also like to invite you to attend a special event hosted by ECBT and the Immunization Coalition of Washington, D.C. On May 1st at 10 a.m. in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, Room CVC-268 we will host the national launch of the documentary film Invisible Threat.
Invisible Threat fosters understanding of the science of vaccinations and the misperceptions leading parents to delay or decline life-saving immunizations for their children. This outstanding 40-minute documentary was produced by award-winning high school student filmmakers and has earned praise from more than 50 organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the Mayo Clinic.
We encourage you to attend this limited-seating event, where you will have the opportunity to ask questions of our esteemed panel of experts, including Dr. Melinda Wharton of the CDC, Dr. Paul Offit of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Every Child By Two spokesperson/actor Amanda Peet. To watch a preview of the film please visit http://vimeo.com/64521691
Former US First Lady Rosalynn Carter and Former First Lady of Arkansas/wife of Senator Dale Bumpers Betty Bumpers
Founders, Every Child by Two