Beirut, 24 April 2019 – UNICEF is launching a new global campaign on 24 April to emphasize the power and safety of vaccines among parents and wider social media users.
The campaign will run alongside World Immunization Week from 24 to 30 April to spread the message that together communities, including parents, can protect everyone through vaccines.
#VaccinesWork has long been used to bring together immunization advocates online. UNICEF is partnering with the Ministry of Public Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) to encourage even greater reach.
Vaccines save up to 3 million lives yearly, protecting children from potentially deadly, highly infectious diseases such as measles, pneumonia, cholera, and diphtheria. Thanks to vaccines, fewer people died from measles between 2000 and 2017 and polio is on the verge of being eradicated. Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective health tool ever invented – every USD$1 spent on childhood immunization returns up to USD$44 in benefits.
“We want to encourage more parents to vaccinate their children”, said Tanya Chapuisat, UNICEF Representative in Lebanon. “We want parents to understand that #VaccinesWork and save lives. Vaccines protect children against diseases that can cause serious harm or death. If children are not immunized, highly contagious diseases such as measles and polio, which were once wiped out in Lebanon will come back.”
Despite the benefits of vaccines, an estimated 1.5 million children died of vaccine-preventable diseases in 2017 globally. While this is often due to lack of access to vaccines, in some countries, families are delaying or refusing to vaccinate their children because of complacency or skepticism about vaccines. This has resulted in several outbreaks, including an alarming surge in measles, especially in higher-income countries. Uncertainty about vaccines on digital and social media platforms is one of the factors driving this trend.
That is why the centerpiece of this UNICEF campaign is a 60-second animated film, “Dangers,” which, along with illustrated animations for social media posts and posters, is based on the relatable insight that kids, by their very nature, are little daredevils who are constantly putting themselves in danger. Available in all languages, the video explains that while parents can’t prevent all the dangers their kids get themselves into, they can use vaccination to help prevent the dangers that get into their kids.
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UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.