Our Mission & History

Our Mission

Vaccine Your Family’s mission is to protect people of all ages from vaccine-preventable diseases by:

  • Raising awareness of the critical need for timely immunizations
  • Increasing the public’s understanding of the benefits of vaccines
  • Increasing confidence in the safety of vaccines
  • Ensuring that all families have access to lifesaving vaccines
  • Advocating for policies that support timely vaccination

View our Case Statement for a summary of our past, present and future plans.

 

Our History

Vaccinate Your Family (VYF) builds on the important legacy of Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and Former First Lady of Arkansas Betty Bumpers. Together, these pioneers worked to advance a national focus on protecting all people in the United States from vaccine-preventable diseases. Their work began in the 1970s as First Ladies of Georgia and Arkansas, respectively, and continued during the Carter Administration, resulting in increased federal support for vaccine programs nationwide and the passage of state laws requiring evidence of vaccinations for school entry.

In 1991, in response to a U.S. measles epidemic, which sickened more than 55,000 people, hospitalized over 11,000 and killed more than 120, many of whom were young children, Mrs. Carter and Mrs. Bumpers founded Every Child by Two (ECBT).  Prominent epidemiologist, Dr. William Foege, former CDC Director and Chief of the Smallpox Eradication Program, Dr. Walt Orenstein, Director of the CDC’s National Immunization Program and other esteemed board members offered their expertise in immunizations, helping to guide the implementation plans.

Within two years of the establishment of ECBT, Carter and Bumpers traveled to more than a dozen states and ultimately to all 50 states to foster vaccination efforts and build immunization coalitions, consisting of local policymakers, service organizations and concerned citizens. Today, these coalitions continue to work along with state and local immunization programs across the U.S.  During the Bush, Clinton and Obama Administrations, ECBT successfully secured support to make vaccinations a national priority, institutionalized immunization screening for the seven million women and children served annually by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program and helped to facilitate the Vaccines For Children program (VFC), which provides free vaccines to eligible families.

Our work has saved lives. Among children born over the last twenty-five years, the CDC estimates that access to the VFC program will prevent 419 million illnesses, 936,000 early deaths and 24.5 million hospitalizations, resulting in a savings of nearly $1.9 trillion in societal costs and $360 billion in direct costs.

Hear from our co-founders Rosalynn Carter and Betty Bumpers on how they joined forces to transform the health of a nation through immunizations:

Today

Today, thanks to our founders’ enduring legacy, our organization’s impact is beyond measure as vaccinations have saved millions of lives and significant costs. Vaccinate Your Family is now led by a committed board of directors, medical & scientific advisory committee, and staff comprised of renowned medical, public health and policy experts. Building on ECBT’s successes in raising childhood vaccination rates and reducing immunization disparities, the organization decided to broaden its mission to include people of all ages. To reflect our expanded focus, Every Child By Two was renamed Vaccinate Your Family in 2018.

Learn more about our current programs here.

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