Would You Like to Be a Vaccine Ambassador? October 6, 2014 By Cait Hartwyk Leave a Comment Over 1.5 million children die every year before their 5th birthday from diseases that can be easily prevented by common vaccines. More than 90% of these deaths occur in low and middle-income countries. Providing immunizations to children in developing nations has long been recognized as one of the most cost-effective strategies to save lives in these regions. As a Vaccine Ambassador, when you receive health care, a child in a less fortunate part of the world will benefit as well. Vaccine Ambassadors began as a pediatric clinic-based program that allows parents to become a partner in increasing access to life-saving vaccines for all children within the convenience of their pediatrician’s office. As a Vaccine Ambassador, a small contribution of as little as $2 is collected during payment for service. While a $2 donation may seem small, its impact is not. Through Vaccine Ambassadors, $2 can purchase tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (DPT) vaccines for 6 children. In September of 2013, Vaccine Ambassadors launched its first partnership clinic program, and, currently, there are almost 20 providers participating in the program. In addition to a pediatric clinic-based program, Vaccine Ambassadors is expanding its program to include other venues where people receive immunizations. Most recently, Vaccine Ambassadors has partnered with Mutual Wholesales Drug Company, a co-op of over 500 independent pharmacies in NC, VA, and SC. The Vaccine Ambassadors program will be offered to the 380 independent pharmacies in North Carolina annually from October-March, as a way to highlight vaccines during flu season. Supplemental Health Care, one of the largest national healthcare staffing agencies in the US, has also joined Vaccine Ambassadors with a corporate commitment on behalf of the world’s children. Through an innovative partnership with the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), 100% of contributions received through Vaccine Ambassadors are used to purchase vaccines and immunization services. As the world continues to look for ways to prevent, treat, and cure diseases that are not yet fully understood, it is crucial to be vigilant about protecting children from the ones that we can. Vaccine Ambassadors believes that all children deserve equitable access to basic immunizations. With a small donation, a lasting impact on the health of a child can be made. About Vaccine Ambassadors: Vaccine Ambassadors, LLC, under the Fund for Children and Youth, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit (2012) was founded by healthcare providers and parents who are committed to the belief that opportunity starts with good health and that all children deserve the same access to life-saving vaccines regardless of where they live. About the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO): PAHO/WHO is an international public health agency with over 110 years of experience working to improve the health and living standards of the countries of the Americas. It serves as the specialized organization for health of the Inter-American System and also as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization. It enjoys international recognition as part of the United Nations system. The PAHO Revolving Fund procures qualified vaccines at competitive prices for 39 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean. In its efforts to improve health, PAHO targets the most vulnerable groups including mothers and children, workers, the poor, the elderly, refugees, and displaced persons. It focuses on issues related to equity for those who lack access to health and on a Pan-American approach encouraging countries to work together on common issues.