Vaccinate Your Baby Campaign
Vaccinate Your Baby (VYB) is an awareness campaign that was launched in 2008 by Every Child By Two (ECBT). Now a permanent program of ECBT, VYB targets families with messages about the importance of timely vaccination of children. By directing the public to credible, science-based information on vaccines, the VYB program seeks to ensure they are making educated vaccination decisions for themselves and their families. The program includes this dynamic website, the Shot of Prevention blog, the Vaccinate Your Baby Facebook page and two Twitter feeds (@EveryChildby2) and (@ShotofPrev). Nearly 6.4 million Facebook messages are viewed annually by our followers and their contacts, and the Shot of Prevention blog receives almost 500,000 views annually. As a result of the VYB program, ECBT has become one of the largest online sources for pro-vaccination information. diseases. To learn more about ECBT’s other educational campaigns, visit the Campaigns page on the ECBT website, and visit the Shot of Prevention blog and Vaccinate Your Baby Facebook page, both which cover issues related to vaccines for people of all ages, not just children.
About Every Child By Two
Every Child By Two - Carter/Bumpers Champions for Immunization (ECBT) is a nonprofit organization committed to reducing the burden of vaccine-preventable diseases among families. For nearly a quarter century, ECBT has conducted a myriad of activities aimed at reaching its goals of increasing awareness of the need for timely immunizations and developing a systematic method of locating and vaccinating all of America’s children. Our organization continues to play an integral role in helping to set immunization policies and implement vaccination efforts that have lasting impact on the health of our nation.
Every Child By Two was founded in 1991 by Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and Former First Lady of Arkansas Betty Bumpers as a response to the U.S. measles epidemic, which hospitalized over 11,000 and killed more than 120 people, many of them young children. Carter and Bumpers have been working on immunizations since their husbands were governors in the early 70s and have been credited with the passage of laws mandating school-age vaccination requirements in every state during the Carter Administration. From 1991-1999, ECBT’s cofounders traveled the entire nation to alert governors and their spouses, elected officials and concerned community leaders about the immunization challenges within their communities. This resulted in the establishment of immunization coalitions in nearly every state, which continue to thrive today. ECBT continues to work with partners at the grassroots and state level to recommend best practices and develop successful initiatives.
In 2000, ECBT was instrumental in working with the Clinton Administration to pass a mandate requiring federal agencies serving children to assess their immunization records. ECBT subsequently worked with public health partners to establish the immunization community’s collaboration with the USDA and their Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). As WIC serves approximately 50% of our nation's young children and pregnant women, it is a critical access point to reach these populations with immunization messages and services. Therefore, ECBT continues on a variety of joint initiatives with the USDA/WIC each year aimed at reducing economic and racial disparities in vaccination rates among WIC clients.
ECBT collaborated closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in support of efforts to develop Immunization Information Systems (IIS) in every state that are able to track children’s vaccination records and send reminders to providers when their patients’ vaccines are due. As this effort aligned perfectly with ECBT’s mission to “foster the establishment of a systematic method to locate and immunize children”, ECBT worked closely with partners to educate governors, members of Congress, health plans, schools, and providers about the benefits of funding the establishment of IIS, reporting data to IIS and utilizing the data from these systems to increase timely immunization.
ECBT consistently serves as a source to the national and local media reporting on vaccine-related issues. Our regular meetings with parenting magazine editors have informed articles in a variety of print and online publications. In addition to educating the public about vaccines, ECBT also works to keep healthcare providers and public health partners up-to-date on the latest immunization information, and strives to assist vaccine advocates in their immunization education and policy efforts. ECBT News keeps immunization stakeholders throughout the nation apprised about timely vaccine-related issues and alerts them to take action on issues such as the congressional vaccine budget, state immunization legislation and other pertinent issues. ECBT Daily Clips are provided each weekday morning to subscribers to apprise them of vaccine-related news items that appear in national and local publications. The purpose of this service is to act as a catalyst for immunization coalition and health department staff that aim to better educate their local media on issues related to immunizations and vaccine safety. Healthcare practitioners report that the clips also help to inform them in advance of questions that may be presented by patients and parents when news stories arise regarding outbreaks in local communities, safety issues, and so forth. The ECBT website contains information on vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases along with suggested strategies and resources to assist healthcare providers and other advocates in raising immunization rates and encouraging pro-vaccination legislation.
ECBT remains committed to ensuring that public health policies and laws are based on sound scientific evidence. To this end, ECBT monitors and acts on legislation, regulations and policies that affect immunization delivery at both the state and federal levels. Additionally, ECBT serves as a founding member of the 317 Coalition, which seeks to ensure stable congressional funding to state and city immunization programs across the country each year. ECBT also hosts the monthly Childhood Immunization Policy Call, which provides immunization stakeholders with a forum to discuss issues related to childhood immunization policies and offer guidance to one another on actions needed to forward pro-vaccine legislation, support current legislation, and oppose legislation that is not supported by sound science. Furthermore, ECBT educates federal legislators by hosting congressional briefings and attending one-on-one meetings with members of Congress and their staffers to encourage ongoing support of immunizations and the critical vaccine infrastructure that ensures the delivery of safe and effective vaccines.
Through nearly 25 years of service, Every Child by Two and its partners in public health have developed many successful strategies to ensure that every child in our nation is protected from vaccine-preventable diseases; however, there is still much to be done. ECBT will continue our efforts to protect families against deadly diseases knowing that as long as a single person becomes ill from a vaccine-preventable disease, our work is not complete.