On a personal level, working with Voices for Vaccines these past five years has been an honor and almost always a true joy. The absolute best part of this job, and of my efforts to coalesce a pro-vaccine movement to do good, has been the people I am privileged to work with–not just doctors and researchers but parents who have made themselves public and parents who just needed an hour of my time to chat by phone. Each of you fuels Voices for Vaccines, and I consider all of you every moment of my work day.
With your hard work and determination, Voices for Vaccines has accomplished much these last five years. So much, that I thought I would compile a very small selection of my favorites (in no particularly order whatsoever). Here it is:
- changed how the media reports immunization stories
- grown to more than 25,000 members and followers
- told The View what we were doing instead of watching Jenny McCarthy host
- started a podcast
- published 190 reasons to choose vaccines
- connected pro-vaccine parents in local communities
- got people singing “All About That Vax” across the world
- convinced Chili’s not to support an anti-vaccine group
- created 10 toolkits for free to the public
- connected Bill Nye with guests for his Netflix show
- published your stories about why vaccines are important to you
- worked with students studying pharmacy, nursing, communications, medicine, and public health
And really, so much more. I can’t see what we can do together in the next five years!
A special thank you to our Scientific Advisory Board; our Parent Advisory Board; the Voices for Vaccines Discussion Forum members; my co-host, Dr. Nathan Boonstra; the Ithaca Is Immunized moms; our friends at organization such as Immunization Action Coalition, Task Force for Global Health, Every Child by Two, Families Fighting Flu, PKIDs, The Emily Stillman Foundation, The Kimberly Coffey Foundation, National Meningitis Association, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, all the state immunization coalitions, Vaccine Ambassadors, the Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism, American Cancer Society and the HPV Roundtable, faith-based advocacy groups, and secular advocacy groups. Thank you to the Refuters and the formerly hesitant, to woo fighters and all the bloggers, to my Minnesota crew and the AVWOSers/Embarrassed Cousins, and to anyone who has every worked to end vaccine hesitancy with us. Thank you to each and every person who is a member of Voices for Vaccines and feels ownership over our direction. Thank you to anyone whom I have forgotten to name.
An extra special thank you to Ashley Shelby for five years of amazing work. Thank you, especially, for agreeing to meet me that first time at the Riverview for coffee.