Vaccinate Your Family: The Next Generation of Every Child By Two (VYF) is a national nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, DC.
Protect people of all ages from vaccine-preventable diseases by:
- Raising awareness of the critical need for timely immunizations
- Increasing the public’s understanding of the benefits of vaccines
- Increasing confidence in the safety of vaccines
- Ensuring that all families have access to life-saving vaccines
- Advocating for policies that support timely vaccination
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Vaccinate Your Family: The Next Generation of Every Child By Two (VYF) was originally founded in 1991 as Every Child By Two (ECBT) by Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and Betty Bumpers, Former First Lady of Arkansas. Their immunization partnership began as First Ladies of Georgia and Arkansas in the 1970s, where they worked to improve immunization services for the children of their home states. After Jimmy Carter was elected President of the United States and Dale Bumpers became a U.S. Senator, Carter and Bumpers worked closely with the Carter Administration to secure increased federal funding for vaccine efforts and to establish the National Childhood Immunization Initiative, which aimed to increase immunization levels to 90% by 1979.
In order to ensure that children did not fall through the cracks of the healthcare system, Carter and Bumpers worked diligently to encourage the establishment of school vaccination mandates (laws) within each state. These laws required that children enrolling in kindergarten show proof that they are protected against certain vaccine-preventable diseases, thus protecting all school children from deadly viruses.
Unfortunately, in 1991, a deadly outbreak of measles swept the U.S., sickening more than 55,000 people, hospitalizing over 11,000, and killing more than 120 people, many of them young children. It was determined by public health officials that many families were not fully vaccinating their children until age five, leaving them vulnerable to deadly diseases such as measles, diphtheria, tetanus and more. Carter and Bumpers immediately sprung into action by formally establishing Every Child By Two. Within five years, they traveled to nearly every state in the nation, raising awareness of the critical importance of vaccinating by age two, and helping to establish immunization coalitions made up of concerned community leaders and public health advocates.
Since the organization’s inception, we have partnered with federal agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Bureau of Primary Healthcare, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Working side by side with numerous like-minded organizations and coalitions, our organization has played a major role in helping to protect the public from deadly vaccine-preventable diseases.
Our Work Today – Vaccinate Your Family: The Next Generation of Every Child By Two
Today, our organization continues the legacy of Every Child By Two’s inspiring founders through our efforts to educate the public, healthcare providers, policymakers, the media, and others about the importance of timely immunizations and pro-vaccination policies. Through educational campaigns and social media outreach, we seek to reach as many people as possible with science-based information on vaccinations. The organization’s expanded mission to protect people of all ages is now reflected in our new name – Vaccinate Your Family: The Next Generation of Every Child By Two.
For nearly three decades, VYF and our partners in public health have developed many successful strategies to ensure that every individual in our nation is protected from vaccine-preventable diseases; however, there is still much to be done. Please donate to help us continue our crucial efforts to help keep families and communities healthy, knowing that as long as a single person becomes ill from a vaccine-preventable disease, our work is not complete.