Today is World Polio Day. It seems a little weird to wish you “Happy World Polio Day,” because the debilitating and sometimes deadly disease is anything but happy.
What is happy, however, is the progress being made around the world to eliminate polio. Last year, there were just 37 cases of polio worldwide. That’s tremendous, especially when you realize that 30 years ago, there were 350,000 cases.
But the latest news is even better than that.
So far this year, there have been only 12 polio cases around the world. Just 12.
That’s in large part because 2.5 billion children have been immunized since 2000.That’s a lot of vaccines and thousands of dedicated health workers whose heroic efforts are yielding results. I’m proud to support the efforts of Shot@Life, a campaign of the United Nations Foundation. Shot@Life works with WHO, UNICEF, Rotary International, the Gates Foundation and the CDC.
Thanks to them, today there are 16 million people walking who, without the vaccines, would be paralyzed by polio. We are making great strides – literally.
And do you know what truly will be a ridiculously joyous occasion? The day we get to celebrate the eradication of polio.
We are so, so close to making that happen.
Join the fight. Here are some easy ways to get involved right now:
- Call your lawmakers. It’s easy, really! Call the Capitol Hill main line at 202-224-3121, get transferred to your Senator or Representative. You can use these talking points to deliver the message that you want to send polio packing for good, and the talking points help you say so eloquently.
- Sign this petition that asks Congress to please maintain FY18 funding for Foreign Assistance Programs that save lives & serve U.S. interests.
- If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, go do so at Walgreens which supports the Get a Shot, Give a Shot program, which provides life saving vaccines to kids who need them.
- You can donate to Shot@Life here. It’s tax deductible!
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