DECEMBER 2019

Eradicating Polio: #VaccinesWork

Children smiling

Prioritize Vaccines to Eradicate Polio

Last month we launched our immunizations campaign! Canada has two upcoming opportunities to demonstrate leadership in the fight against vaccine preventable deaths. Both the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance are looking to Canada for renewed political and financial support and it is critical that we, engaged volunteers, ensure that our government continues to prioritize vaccines. To start, we’re focusing our attention on securing support for GPEI.

Historically, polio was a disease that caused great harm in North America. Tens of thousands of Canadians were affected by polio before a vaccine was introduced in 1955. Because of the devastating impact of polio in Canada, our nation has become a leader in the fight to end polio and played an integral role in developing the first polio vaccine. Since then, we have seen tremendous progress towards ending polio. Globally, an estimated 18 million people are walking today because of the creation and successful implementation of the polio vaccine. With only 33 cases in 2018, the world is .01% away from achieving polio eradication; however, we need one final push to get the job done. The world’s most vulnerable and hardest to reach people are still not immunized against the disease.

With an ambitious pledge to GPEI, Canada can be a part of making history. We are closer than ever to making polio the second disease ever to be eradicated. But the threat to lose the momentum we’ve gained is real. A drop in vaccination rates could lead to this disease resurfacing. Without a serious final push, a return of this disease to the global stage is entirely possible. The only way we can protect ourselves and others from polio is to prioritize vaccines and create a polio-free world.

December key dates to watch for

World Aids Day – December 1
#GivingTuesday – December 3
International Volunteer Day – December 5
House of Commons in session and Throne Speech – December 5
Human Rights Day – December 10
Universal Health Coverage Day – December 12
International Human Solidarity Day – December 20

Campaign Context

  • On November 19 at the Reaching the Last Mile Forum, GPEI raised USD $2.6 billion which represents 80% of their fundraising goal.
  • We are asking Canada to join other leading countries by pledging CAD $215 million to GPEI over the next four years (last pledge was of CAD $100 million in 2017) and our hope is that they announce this in early 2020.
  • Members of Parliament Dean Allison and Matt Jeneroux have already signed and sent our letter in support of a CAD $215 million pledge to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
  • We hope to have a Canadian financial ask for Gavi soon. Canada will be expected to pledge towards Gavi during the replenishment conference hosted by the UK in June 2020.

Recent Volunteer Activity

Don’t see your action? Make sure to track your actions with  your group leader or Mélissa!

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