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Every Child By Two Co-founder and President Rosalynn Carter Celebrates 90th Birthday

August 18, 2017 1 comment
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Every Child By Two Co-founders Rosalynn Carter (right) and Betty Bumpers (left).

Every Child By Two’s beloved co-founder and President, Rosalynn Carter, is celebrating her 90th birthday today.  

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Mrs. Carter continues to inspire all who know her through her persistent commitment to the health and well-being of people throughout the world. Her compassion for those in need is the motivating force that drives the Every Child By Two (ECBT) staff to ensure that everyone, at every age, is protected against vaccine-preventable diseases.
Many of our fellow advocates have had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Carter over the past forty years as she traveled to every state in our great nation alongside her good friend and fellow Every Child By Two Co-founder Betty Bumpers.

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In each town they visited, she and Mrs. Bumpers met with public health and community leaders.Together they discussed immunization challenges and helped to build immunization coalitions across the nation.  Many of these coalitions still exist today and continue the important work of ensuring that the public and healthcare providers are educated about infectious diseases and the vaccines that prevent them.

Through her work at the Carter Center and the Rosalynn Carter Institute For Caregiving, she continues to advocate for mental health, caregiving, global health, human rights, and conflict resolution.

Over the past twenty-six years, Mrs. Carter has unfailingly supported the staff and board in our efforts to fulfill the critical mission of Every Child By Two and the Vaccinate Your Family program.  

Thank you Mrs. Carter for all that you have done, and continue to do, to help people throughout the world.

You mean the world to all of us!

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If you would like to join Every Child By Two in our efforts to ensure that all children and their families receive timely immunizations consider

“Vaccinate Your Family” Focuses On Vaccines Throughout the Life Span

December 14, 2015 Leave a comment

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 11.18.56 AMToday, in anticipation of its 25-year anniversary, Every Child By Two (ECBT) announced the expansion of its original mission of ensuring timely vaccination of all children by the age of two, to now include the importance of ensuring timely vaccination of people of all ages.

Through successful collaborations with national, state and local immunization partners since the organization’s inception in 1991, ECBT has made enormous strides towards removing immunization delivery barriers; reducing ethnic and racial disparities; educating the public about the importance of timely immunizations and the safety of vaccines; and supporting the development of sound public health policies.

Every Child By Two Executive Director Amy Pisani explains,

“As the science evolved and evidence that young children can be further protected through vaccination of pregnant women, adolescents and adults, our Board of Directors recognized the need to expand the official mission of the organization. We simply could not reach our goal of protecting our nation’s young children unless we also focused on protecting their families, caregivers and other close contacts.”

PD_0006Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, Every Child By Two’s Co-founder and President adds,

“As our 25-year anniversary approaches in 2016 it is the perfect time for our Board to assess the successes of the past and reassess where our goals should be focused in the coming years. We have achieved so much over the past 25 years, but until people of all ages are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases, we cannot rest.

As part of its expanded mission, ECBT also announced that their popular Vaccinate Your Baby (VYB) website and Facebook page (which reaches nearly seven million followers annually), has been replaced with the new Vaccinate Your Family website and Vaccinate Your Family Facebook page

Changing the names will help in ECBT’s efforts to educate people of all ages about the importance of vaccinating  against a number of diseases that will impact them at different times throughout their lives.

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With the introduction of the new Vaccinate Your Family program, families can now go to ECBT’s social media platforms or the new website (VaccinateYourFamily.org) to obtain information about vaccines needed for pregnant women, children, adolescents and adults.

The new website, created specifically for the public, houses scientifically-accurate information on vaccines needed at each stage of life; details about the burden of vaccine-preventable diseases; answers to questions about the safety of vaccines; and personal stories from families who have been affected by deadly, but preventable infectious diseases.

Additionally, with the launch of this new initiative, ECBT is highlighting a number of new resources to promote the importance of vaccinating grandparents against influenza and whooping cough (also known as pertussis) in an effort to protect those too young to be fully vaccinated, and those who may be immune-compromised.Toolkit promo_Twitter-05

Rosalynn Carter explains the importance of the new initiative when she says,

“Vaccinating against these diseases will not only keep adults healthier, but will also help protect the whole family, including vulnerable newborns who are at higher risk of serious complications from these diseases. Since many grandparents have a personal connection to the vaccine-preventable diseases that used to gravely affect our society, they can also remind their adult children why we must remain vigilant in our efforts to vaccinate all family members.”

Amy Pisani adds,

“No one wants a loved one to be the victim of any illness, but it is especially heartbreaking to lose someone we love, or watch them suffer from a disease that could have been prevented through timely vaccination.  Every Child By Two strives every day to ensure that no more families suffer the loss of a loved one due to a preventable disease.  We take our mission very seriously.”

We hope you will visit the new Vaccinate Your Family website and let us know what you think.  You can also join the conversation on our Vaccinate Your Family Facebook page.

 

Rosalynn Carter Urges “Don’t Politicize Vaccinations”

February 6, 2015 3 comments

As various politicians have spoken out on the issue of vaccination, Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, co-founder of Every Child By Two – Carter/Bumpers Champions For Immunizations responded with this article that appeared in the Huffington Post earlier today.  

Couch for Poster CroppedDon’t Politicize Vaccinations

By Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter

For more than four decades, I have joined with many others working to ensure the timely vaccination of children, and today I am saddened to see an outbreak of measles infecting more than 100 people in 14 states, many of them vulnerable infants.

Our country has achieved the highest immunization rates in history and thankfully the vast majority of parents are choosing to vaccinate their children on time. Yet, some parents today are being swayed by misinformation that has caused them to delay or decline vaccinating their children, jeopardizing the health of many others. I want all people to know that immunizations are safe, and that they work.

The current vaccine debate is being played out in the media as a partisan one, but historically, support for vaccines has been very nonpartisan. Major White House initiatives date as far back as Thomas Jefferson, who supported mass vaccination against smallpox. John F. Kennedy signed into law the first federal support program for vaccines as part of the Vaccine Assistance Act of 1962. President George H.W. Bush’s administration set a goal of 90 percent immunization rates and led efforts to create model state plans which have become an integral part of the infrastructure serving every community. The Clinton administration’s Vaccines for Children program removed cost as a barrier to eligible families.

When my husband became president in 1977, I was dismayed to learn that fewer than 20 states required vaccinations for school entry. Betty Bumpers, wife of Arkansas Governor Dale Bumpers, and I had been working for many years to increase immunization rates in our home states. We renewed our efforts in Washington by working closely with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to stop the transmission of measles, and we encouraged the passage of laws mandating vaccines for school entry. We were able to accomplish this the first year we were in Washington and now laws exist in every state. We then helped develop an improved immunization program, which included large increases in research for vaccines. Dr. Bill Foege, the head of CDC remained in that position after we came home, and continued to track the outcome of our efforts. By July 1982, only one state reported cases of measles. We celebrated the news that during one week there were no new cases of measles in the United States.

PD_0003 (3)Sadly, in 1989, a measles epidemic swept the country, claiming the lives of nearly 150 people, including many young children, leading us to found our organization, Every Child By Two, whose mission it is to educate the public about the dangers of preventable diseases and the need to complete the primary vaccinations by age two.

Over the first decade, we visited every state to galvanize elected officials and public health advocates and to establish immunization coalitions that today continue to work tirelessly in their communities to keep children healthy. Most importantly, we have enjoyed bi-partisan support for our efforts at both the state and federal levels, resulting in sound public health policies that have been instrumental in reaching record high immunization levels throughout the nation.

The current measles outbreak, however, is a poignant reminder of the vulnerability of those who are not protected through immunization. And, as the debate turns toward the issue of personal rights versus public health, it is important to remember that the ultimate goal is keeping children healthy.

When our children enter a licensed daycare site or school, do they not have the right to be protected from acquiring a deadly communicable disease? I say they do. State laws requiring vaccination for school admittance are based on sound science and are there to protect our nation’s children. As these laws come under scrutiny, I urge parents to speak up in support of mandated vaccinations in schools and daycare facilities.

Opting out of vaccinations for children should be done only after careful deliberation with a licensed medical provider, and state laws should require that any parent who wishes to do so be informed of the serious consequences to their child and other children. And above all, vaccinations should not be politicized. For hundreds of years, politicians on both sides of the aisles have supported vaccinations by making real and meaningful laws to protect the public’s health. Let’s not turn children’s health into a battle ground.

ecbt_logo_color (72dpi)Rosalynn Carter is the co-founder of Every Child By Two – Carter/Bumpers Champions for Immunization.  

In response to this article, we hope that readers will sign onto Every Child by Two’s petition at Change.org, which expresses the belief that children should be protected in daycare and schools from deadly diseases!

Click here to add your name.  

Grassroots Fundraising Campaign Aims To Support Every Child By Two

November 20, 2014 Leave a comment

Written by Amy Pisani, ECBT Executive DirectorECBT Logo

Every Child By Two (ECBT) is thrilled to announce that a grassroots effort was recently launched to raise $10,000 in support of our ambitious mission to save the lives of children from vaccine-preventable diseases. Stephan N. of the We Love GMOs and Vaccines Facebook page created this Crowdrise fundraiser to help continue our critical work of sharing scientifically accurate information on the safety and necessity of life-saving vaccines with the public.

Please visit Crowdrise today to make a tax-deductible donation directly to Every Child By Two.  All donations made by December 31st will be DOUBLED by Every Child By Two Board Member Dr. Paul Offit (up to $10,000)!

Since Every Child By Two’s arrival on the social media scene back in 2008, we have been working to raise awareness of the need for timely immunizations through our Shot of Prevention blog, Vaccinate Your Baby Facebook page, and @ShotofPrev and @EveryChildByTwo Twitter feeds. ECBT continues to lead the way as one of the largest online sources of pro-vaccine information with nearly  seven million Facebook and Shot of Prevention blog views each year.

The successes we’ve seen are not just in the numbers of followers we have, but also in what our work has done to inspire others.  There are now dozens of pro-vaccine groups in existence throughout the world who share in our mission.   Our organization devotes a great deal of time sharing evidence-based vaccine information with our social media networks, which is used to educate individuals worldwide.  We hope that you will consider making a donation today to allow us to continue these efforts.

Beyond our social media endeavors, Every Child By Two has played an integral role over the past several decades in helping to set the standards for childhood immunization in America.  Our organization was founded by Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and Former First Lady of Arkansas Betty Bumpers in 1991 as a response to a U.S. measles epidemic, which hospitalized and claimed the lives of many children.   Through nearly 25 years of service, Every Child By Two staff and cofounders have: 

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  • Visited every state in the U.S. to raise awareness about the critical importance of timely vaccinations; alert governors, mayors and community leaders about barriers to immunizations; and develop local and state immunization coalitions which continue to thrive today.
  • Helped to set and implement state and federal immunization policies that have had lasting impact on the health of our nation’s children.
  • Fought to establish the passage of laws mandating school-age vaccination requirements in nearly every state during the Carter Administration.
  • Helped implement and support the regular screening of vaccine records for the 50% of U.S. children and pregnant women served by USDA’s WIC program.
  • Served as a critical resource to local and national media reporting on vaccine-related issues, which has resulted in the proliferation of pro-science stories in both print and television.
  • Developed a number of public education campaigns including the Vaccinate Your Baby (VYB) initiative and the Immunize On Time, Every Time program.

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  • Educated healthcare providers and vaccine advocates about best practices and shared valuable resources for local dissemination.
  • Conducted regular briefings for federal legislators to ensure that public health policies and laws are based on sound scientific evidence and that the CDC and health departments are properly funded each year.

Every Child by Two has developed many successful strategies to ensure that every child in our nation is protected from vaccine-preventable diseases; however, there is still much to be done.  As long as a single person continues to fall victim to a vaccine-preventable disease, our work is not complete.

Visit the Every Child By Two website to learn more about our work. Please know that your donation will support our continued efforts to protect children and their families from deadly vaccine-preventable diseases.  

World Pneumonia Day 2012 Reminds Us There’s Still Work to Do

November 13, 2012 2 comments

Tackling the Deadliest Disease for the World’s Poorest Children

Former First Lady, and Every Child By Two co-founder, Rosalynn Carter believes every child deserves a chance at a 5th birthday.  That is why she is asking you to support The Global Coalition Against Child Pneumonia and their efforts to raise awareness about the toll of pneumonia, the world’s leading killer of children.  Today, World Pneumonia Day 2012, we’re all called to get involved and advocate for global action to protect against, effectively treat and help prevent this deadly illness.

Pneumonia: Word’s Leading Killer of Children Under Age 5

Despite a recent decline in the global number of child deaths, pneumonia still claimed 1.3 million lives last year alone.  Children of all ages, but particularly those under age five, are vulnerable to respiratory infections that can lead to life-threatening pneumonia.  However, pneumonia is not a single disease. It is a condition caused by many different bacteria or viral attacks which can lead to severe breathing difficulties, lung damage and often internal bleeding.

Sadly, nearly one in every five child deaths around the globe can be attributed to pneumonia – a disease in which the majority of cases are preventable and treatable.  And more than 99 percent of child deaths from pneumonia occur in the developing world, where access to life-saving interventions is out of reach for most children.

What Can Be Done

According to the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia (GAPP), child pneumonia deaths could be reduced by two-thirds if three interventions to protect against, prevent and treat pneumonia were scaled up to reach 90 percent of the world’s children.  These interventions include breastfeeding and vaccination to help strengthen the immune system, and case management to improve early detection, isolate infections, and improve access to, and administration of, appropriate antibiotics.  Read more…

Personal Plea from Every Child By Two Co-Founder Rosalynn Carter to End Polio Now

October 23, 2012 3 comments

In recognition of World Polio Day, October 24th, Rosalynn Carter, Former First Lady and Co-founder of Every Child By Two,  provided this personal plea in support of the global effort to End Polio Now.  

In the small, southwest Georgia town of Warm Springs sits the Little White House.  Built in 1932 by Franklin Roosevelt, it is where he stayed while suffering the worst effects of polio.  Swimming in the 88-degree, buoyant spring waters of Warm Springs was therapeutic and brought improvement, but no cure. Today, the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation gives individuals with many types of disabilities a path to reaching personal independence.

The first time I visited Warm Springs, I was struck by the fact that polio did not recognize social status: a child in a developing country or a president of the United States was equally at risk. 

Before the advent of the polio vaccine, the disease left people crippled and disabled across the U.S., and parents lived in fear that their children would fall victim to this debilitating disease.

Because of efforts to eliminate polio from the U.S., parents no longer are concerned for their children’s lives, but that does not mean that the disease is gone forever.  Although we have come far in the fight to end polio, and it has become isolated to only a few countries, without a coordinated effort, the disease could rise again at any time.

Through my work with Every Child By Two, I have seen firsthand the power of vaccines.  They are the best tools we have in the fight against disease, and every child vaccinated leads us closer to completely eradicating polio.

This World Polio Day, Every Child By Two is teaming up with our partners at Shot@Life and Rotary International in support of efforts to ensure that every child has a shot at a healthy life.  Please join us by visiting Shot@Life and End Polio Now to learn how you can help make polio a disease of the past.

Rosalynn Carter
Former First Lady
Co-founder of Every Child By Two

Every Child By Two is a proud partner of the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life Campaign.

Every Child By Two Partners With Shot@Life

Last week’s Shot@Life campaign launch was not only impressive, but extremely inspirational.

Several months ago, I learned how the Shot@Life campaign was focused on building awareness, raising funds and advocating for the millions of children around the world who do not have access to life-saving vaccines.

The message is simple, yet profound.

Every 20 seconds a child dies around the world of a disease that can be prevented by a vaccine… and we’re going to do something about it.

Personal Advocacy

As a parent who has been heavily engaged in the immunization dialogue for the past two years, I quickly identified with the Shot@Life message.  However, in the past few weeks, what has  inspired me the most about this campaign, has been the way in which the 30 other grassroot champions embraced this message.  Since we all attended the  Shot@Life volunteer summit in February each of these champions have found a way to utilize their time and creativity to bring the Shot@Life message to the masses.  All across the country, these everyday moms, dedicated professionals, interested educators and concerned bloggers have hosted special Shot@Life events.  From themed birthday parties and special events, to awareness walks and in-district meetings with their Members of Congress, they have each worked hard to raise awareness for increased global vaccine funding.   (If you’re looking for inspiration and ideas on how you can get involved, read all about what has inspired these advocates and the diverse ways they’ve been able to spread the message in the recent blog carnival featured on the Shot@Life blog.)

These individual volunteers were critical in directing attention last Thursday when, after detailed planning and flawless execution, the UN Foundation officially launched the Shot@Life  campaign at the Georgia Aquarium.   Thousands of volunteer advocates, celebrities, medical experts and some of the country’s most influential voices committed themselves that day to the Shot@Life mission.  From the Tout videos that were recorded at the launch and the overwhelming number of tweets we received during our three-hour “Celebrate Childhood” Twitter party, it was clear that Shot@Life touches upon a cause that people are extremely passionate about – children’s health.

Devi Ramachandran Thomas, director of the Shot@Life campaign explains,

“More than 100,000 people, including world-renowned photographer Anne Geddes and some of the most influential online moms, are activating their networks across the U.S. and around the world to take action to save and improve the lives of children. From Los Angeles to New York and Seattle to Miami, thousands of Americans are rallying to get life-saving vaccines to children in developing countries who need them most. Their time, their voices, and the money they are raising sends a powerful message that Americans understand the value of vaccines and are ready to rally on behalf of millions of moms and their children worldwide.”

Committed Partners

The fact is that even with increased global immunization rates, one in five children still lacks access to these life-saving immunizations that can protect them from diseases like polio, measles, diarrhea and pneumonia. The solution may sound simple – improve access to vaccines so that 1.5 million children in developing countries can be saved every year.  And fortunately, organizations such as UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI), are already working to accomplish this monumental task.   But now, through the creation of this Shot@Life campaign, this broad group of grassroots advocates, coupled with many dedicated partners, are fully committed to helping mothers and their children in developing countries get a shot at a healthy life.

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter knows about the commitment it takes to improve vaccination rates.  Over 20 years ago, she co-founded a national advocacy organization known as Every Child By Two along with Betty Bumpers.  Although Every Child By Two was first created to improve childhood immunization rates amidst a measles outbreak in the US, the organization, through their new partnership with Shot@Life, is now actively advocating for childhood vaccines around the world.  As one of the prominent speakers in Atlanta last week, Rosalynn Carter helped kick off the Shot@Life campaign by saying,

“Healthy children help create a healthier world for everyone. As we know, germs and diseases don’t need a passport. Expanding access to vaccines strengthens our ability to fight disease globally and keep our families healthy here at home, while saving lives and improving economic stability around the world. I am honored and excited that Every Child By Two has joined forces with Shot@Life to educate Americans and advocate on the importance of childhood vaccines around the world.” Read more…