A letter from the Executive Director This week, EverThrive Illinois is honoring National Infant Immunization Week as part of our ongoing commitment to promote the safety, effectiveness, and importance of vaccines. Many things have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, but this priority has not.
While there is currently no vaccine to protect against coronavirus, we have seen in recent years how vaccine-hesitancy is leading to an overall increase in preventable diseases. The World Health Organization even named it one of the ten most significant threats to public health in 2019. The recent measles outbreak was heartbreaking given how close we had been to eradicating the disease, and every year the flu shot is refused by many who do not recognize the severity of influenza.
EverThrive IL is taking this opportunity to approach our work with new eyes, leveraging statewide partnerships to understand the barriers to families getting immunized fully and on schedule. We are speaking with communities to better understand what they need during the ongoing pandemic. We’re doing all this to share accurate, reliable, and evidence-based resources and information through social media.
Through our partnerships with the Chicago and Illinois Departments of Public Health, EverThrive IL is advancing strategies to support providers and community health workers as they connect directly with parents, address concerns, and promote vaccinations throughout life. While COVID-19 has made this more difficult through person-to-person interactions, we’re working diligently to share the best alternative solutions.
We’ve seen just how quickly the spread of coronavirus has had an impact on every corner of our world, and we must become more diligent about preventing the spread of illness and protecting those around us. We can all help promote the health of our families and communities by confronting the misinformation and fear-mongering that is spread by the anti-vaccine community.
To keep updated on our latest immunization work, EverThrive IL shares resources, information, and more in our eUpshot Newsletter, which you can sign up for here. Please also share this Immunization Resource page with your friends, family, and neighbors looking for accurate information and tools for speaking out about the importance of vaccines.
Together, we can help prevent future pandemics by sharing the power of protection provided by vaccines.
Chi Chi Okwu, MPH