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 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, concerned organizations and 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 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.
Today, thanks to our founders enduring legacy, our organization’s impact is beyond measure as vaccinations have saved millions of lives and significant costs. Today, Vaccinate Your Family is led by a committed board of directors, scientific advisory board 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.
Vaccinate Your Family works to protect people of all ages from vaccine-preventable diseases. Our work centers on educating the public about the importance of timely vaccinations and their safety, along with and combating the abundance of vaccine disinformation. Through our policy efforts, we strive to ensure strong vaccination policies and vaccination access for everyone, including our most vulnerable populations.
Since our founding, Vaccinate Your Family has touched countless lives…
- Our website provides science-based immunization information for the public and contains a variety of resources to aid vaccine advocates and healthcare workers in their vaccination efforts. VYF also partners with tech companies, including Google, to spot and combat vaccine disinformation online and to proactively share the facts about immunizations. VYF’s website is certified by the WHO’s Vaccine Safety Net (VSN) as a source of credible vaccine safety information.
- Social media has served as a key platform for our public education and communication efforts with expansive reach both nationally and internationally. VYF reaches millions of individuals through our Shot of Prevention blog, YouTube channel, and Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Our team nimbly adapts to communication trends, ensuring we are at the forefront of successful new platforms to reach the public. In fact, we were the first vaccine organization to create a website and e-newsletter in the 1990s, and the first to establish a Facebook page in the mid-2000s. VYF prioritizes efforts to regularly share our knowledge and strategies with health partners to proliferate fact-based vaccine messaging and to counter disinformation online.
- Through a combination of outreach initiatives, including videos, radio spots and print PSAs, Vaccinate Your Family has reached millions of people across the U.S. with critical information to raise awareness of the need for timely immunizations and to combat vaccine disinformation.
- To protect thousands of our nation’s children in WIC clinics, preschools and daycares, VYF provides immunization resources including informational posters and vaccine education for both staff and families. VYF’s work with WIC also helps to educate low-income pregnant individuals about the importance of vaccinations for themselves and their babies.
- In the halls of Congress, we have partnered with members to implement and maintain crucial immunization policies, organize hot-topic hearings, and provide evidence-based materials. Vaccinate Your Family’s annual State of the ImmUnion report is widely considered the definitive resource on vaccines for legislators. This annual report examines the strength of our country’s defenses against vaccine-preventable diseases and outlines efforts that legislators can undertake to make the United States stronger and more resilient.
- Through a recent partnership with the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and other allied organizations, VYF is working to strengthen prevention of COVID-19 and other vaccine-preventable illnesses in communities of color and among other citizens who are most vulnerable to disease burden, hospitalization and death. In addition, VYF staff have been invited to serve on several collaborations hosted by the Department Health and Human Services, the White House, CDC and the Ad Council to combat COVID-19 and ensure equitable vaccine access.
Please support us by making a tax-deductible gift today! Donate online
Vaccinations save lives and money. In the U.S., for every $1 spent on childhood vaccinations, we save 10 times this amount. Your gift to Vaccinate Your Family helps to protect people of all ages from vaccine-preventable illnesses.
Your donation to Vaccinate Your Family will help us to:
- Raise Public Awareness of the Importance of Timely Vaccinations and their Safety
- Broker Key Partnerships to Strengthen Health Equity in Vulnerable Communities
- Advocate for Policy Change to Improve Everyone’s Access to Timely Vaccinations
Your tax-deductible donation is critical to our efforts. COVID-19 has exposed systemic inequities in our healthcare system and underscored the importance of vaccinations. Vaccinate Your Family is committed to strengthening the health of communities of color, rural citizens, children, the poor and others who face barriers to healthcare access.