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Monday, August 6, 2012

Every Child Deserves a Shot - August 11, 2012

I wanted to make everyone aware of an upcoming fundraiser for a global vaccination program called "Shot@Life" (go to for more information on this program).  The three SC "Mom Congress" representatives (Yolanda Gordon, Windy Tuck and I) are organizing this event at the Museum of York County on Saturday, August 11 from 5-7 because "Every Child Deserves a Shot at.... A Night at the Museum."  

Every 20 seconds, a child dies of a vaccine preventable illness somewhere in the world.  The Shot at Life Campaign was recently launched by the UN Foundation in partnership with American Academy of Pediatrics, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary and many other partners to raise money to vaccinate children in developing countries against routine childhood illness such as Rota-virus or Pneumococcus.  $20 buys 4 vaccines for children who might otherwise not have the benefit of immunization.  

This is a global program WITH LOCAL IMPLICATIONS:  families in our community sometimes choose not to vaccinate their children due to fear or misinformation.  We live in a global society, and until we eradicate illnesses like polio or measles, one unvaccinated child can easily introduce these highly contagious and lethal illnesses into a doctor's waiting room OR A CLASSROOM and infect vulnerable infants and children.  Shot at Life reminds local families of the importance and power of keeping up with routine immunizations and how blessed we are that our children have easy access to life-saving vaccines.  

I recently diagnosed an unvaccinated 4 year old with pertussis.  The mortality rate of this disease (aka "whooping cough") is still 50% in babies less than 12 months.  All 7th graders will be required to have an updated tetanus/pertussis vaccine in order to stay in school this fall.  The Shot@Life campaign will help remind our local families to check on their own child's vaccine status.   Your participation in this event can help save lives across the globe as well as right here in Rock Hill.  

PLEASE PLAN TO COME IF YOU CAN, AND HELP US GET THE WORD OUT.  Periwinkle's will help kids decorate cupcakes (because EVERY CHILD DESERVES A SHOT AT DECORATING AND EATING A CUPCAKE!!) and Girls on the Run will plan some games (because EVERY GIRL DESERVES A SHOT AT RUNNING A 5k).  A representative from Sodexo will join us to talk about the healthy foods they will be serving this school year (because EVERY CHILD DESERVES A SHOT AT A GREAT SCHOOL LUNCH), and Rock Hill Pediatrics will be there with some doctor's hats for kids to wear (because EVERY CHILD DESERVES A SHOT AT WEARING A SILLY DOCTOR'S HAT).  Kids will have the run of the museum (because EVERY CHILD DESERVES A NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM).  No cost for admission:  donations to Shot@Life strongly encouraged. 

Come help us give every child in the Rock Hill School District  a shot at getting a healthy start to the school year!

Thanks to all for all you do. 

Martha Edwards, MD  

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