When planning your festive affairs this week, consider a special and fun opportunity to make an immediate difference this holiday season. All this week, when you dine at the renowned Michael’s—both the restaurant in New York and the one in Santa Monica—you can help support UNICEF’s measles vaccination efforts. All week, at both locations, there will be a UNICEF card on every table encouraging diners to add a dollar contribution to their check.
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This week is the first ever World Immunization Week—an international event created to raise awareness about the importance of immunization. Besides the protection that immunization gives against childhood and maternal illnesses, it is also important to vaccinate during an emergency: like a war, a natural disaster, or a refugee crisis.
UNICEF is the world’s largest buyer of vaccines for the world’s poorest countries. In 2010, UNICEF supplied 2.5 billion doses of vaccines to 99 countries, and reached 58% of the world’s children. But still, an estimated 1.7 million children died from vaccine-preventable diseases in 2008 before reaching their fifth birthday.
Budgetary shortfalls have squeezed the Madagascar government, endangering the measles immunization drive. Learn how you can help make sure Madagascar’s children receive preventative health care.
The vaccine for measles has been available for 40 years, but for children who don’t get it, measles is a swift, contagious, deadly disease. It spreads quickly, weakening children’s immune systems so that a simple cold becomes a life-threatening situation.