Changing Minds Starts with a Story: VYF’s SQUAD™ Program

by Dana Howe

Deaths caused by vaccine-preventable diseases aren’t a thing of the past.

It’s an uncomfortable truth, and one we’ve all been challenged to face in recent years: many thousands of people still die every year in the United States from vaccine-preventable diseases. Each of these individuals leaves behind a family and community of loved ones who feel their loss day in and day out.

Despite this unimaginable toll, our culture at large continues to minimize the risk of vaccine-preventable diseases like flu, COVID-19, and measles. Vaccination rates for routine immunizations, such as those for seasonal respiratory diseases and pediatric vaccines required for school entry, are showing signs of decline. As advocates, we’re tasked with changing a culture that is increasingly taking the life-saving protection offered by vaccines for granted.

We can share statistics and science all we like, but changing hearts and minds requires a human connection – a story. That’s where Vaccinate Your Family’s SQUAD™ can make a difference – SQUAD™ members are passionate about protecting individuals and families against vaccine-preventable diseases because many of them have been personally impacted through loss or survivorship.

Read personal stories from individuals and families impacted by vaccine-preventable diseases here.

These individuals are SQuaring Up Against Disease (SQUAD)™. This advocacy program provides a scalable and sustainable platform for advocates who want to get involved in supporting vaccines and science. As part of this program, SQUAD™ members are connected, trained, mobilized, and empowered to share their stories, educate their peers, and help reignite a culture of immunization at national, regional, and local levels.

Change starts with a story. Vaccinate Your Family is honored to work alongside SQUAD™ members who bravely advocate for vaccines in honor of their loved ones. Together, our hope is that we can prevent future losses and save lives from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Learn more about VYF’s SQUAD™ program here.


If you have been impacted by a vaccine-preventable disease – whether through loss or survivorship – and are interested in getting involved with advocacy opportunities by joining Vaccinate Your Family’s SQUADTM, please contact
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