It’s near the end of the pediatrician’s visit.  Time for the vaccinations.  Ugh. My heart sinks.  “It’s just a pinch!” I say with a fake smile on my face.  “You will be just fine.”

My daughter begins to climb under the examination table and repeat out loud, “I don’t want a shot! I don’t want a shot!”  Tears begin to pour out, anxiety levels rise in the room, including my own.

“Why do I have to have one, Mommy?”  “It prevents you from getting a really bad disease that can make you really sick”, I say. She can’t really comprehend the enormity of that statement at 4 years old.  She continues to protest, from under the table.

The doctor and nurse softly try to get her out.  Finally, they just pick her up and sit her back on the table. I sit right next to her, holding her. My heart is in my stomach.

She gets her shot.  She cries.  I hold her tight.  I tell her it is all ok.  She gets to choose a lollipop.  Miraculously, she is ok.  I can exhale.  We got through it again.

We continue through our day, carefree.  Not worrying about the risks of rotavirus, a possible killer for children under five.  Not worrying about her contracting pneumonia.

But somewhere on the planet, a mother mourns the loss of her son from rotavirus.  Another mother holds on warmly and desperately to her child who will die of pneumonia tomorrow. Mothers are losing their children, while I’m drying my own daughter’s eyes from her “pinch” and moving on with my day.

First steps that will never be taken.  First kicks of a soccer ball that will never occur.  First best friends that will never know each other.  Future world leaders who will never have been known.  First loves that never had the chance. New ideas that will never be thought.

A mother’s child.  Gone.  Dead.  Lost to a disease that the western world has the ability to prevent.  Somewhere on the planet a mother is mourning.  And, someone could have helped.

Did you know that often it can take roughly 20 years for a new vaccination to make its way to a developing country?  It’s not just about throwing them in a package and dropping them off at the post office…

Most vaccinations must be refrigerated, which makes it difficult to administer in locations on the globe that don’t have the luxury of refrigeration.  People must be trained to administer the shots and the vaccinations and storage and their shipping must be paid for.

Two programs that I became acquainted with at the Social Good Summit in NYC this autumn are taking on the massive challenge to save children in developing nations from preventable disease.

The GAVI Alliance in Switzerland – formed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations and Bill & Melinda Gates — and Shot@Life, a newly launched program of the United Nations Foundation.

As a mother who gets to tuck her daughters in at night, I think about the mothers tomorrow who won’t be able to do the same.  So, the least I can do is write to raise awareness for hope for their children.

If you’d like to take a step right now to help the GAVI Alliance and Shot@Life help keep children alive around the world, join the Million Moms Challenge.

For the first 100,000 mothers that sign up, Johnson & Johnson will donate $100,000.  The funds will be donated directly to these organizations plus others who are helping world mothers and children.

One mom signing up = one dollar donated to these important causes right now, today!  Help spread the word! Blog about it! E-mail your mom friends! Here’s where you can join:

Today is the first of many future posts planned on World Moms Blog to highlight social good.  You can expect to hear our international writers talk candidly about their global vaccination experiences, read an interview with a vaccination expert and hear us discuss many more charitable causes, like safe drinking water, that are close to our hearts.

This is an original post by World Moms Blog founder, Jennifer Burden, of New Jersey, USA.  Jennifer can be contacted at or on Twitter @WorldMomsBlog.

**Bloggers! – look out for information about the launch of a new World Moms Blog link up to commemorate our one year “Blogiversary” at the beginning of November!   

** Are you a mother living outside the United States who would like to write for World Moms Blog? Send us an e-mail with your blog link or writing sample to! (We currently have a waiting list for USA writers.)

Photo credits to the GAVI Alliance and Shot@Life. 

Jennifer Burden

Jennifer Burden is the Founder and CEO of World Moms Network, an award winning website on global motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. World Moms Network writes from over 30 countries, has over 70 contributors and was listed by Forbes as one of the “Best 100 Websites for Women”, named a “must read” by The New York Times, and was recommended by The Times of India. She was also invited to Uganda to view UNICEF’s family health programs with Shot@Life and was previously named a “Global Influencer Fellow” and “Social Media Fellow” by the UN Foundation. Jennifer was invited to the White House twice, including as a nominated "Changemaker" for the State of the World Women Summit. She also participated in the One Campaign’s first AYA Summit on the topic of women and girl empowerment and organized and spoke on an international panel at the World Bank in Washington, DC on the importance of a universal education for all girls. Her writing has been featured by Baby Center, Huffington Post,, the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life, and The Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists.” She is currently a candidate in Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in the Executive Masters of Public Affairs program, where she hopes to further her study of global policies affecting women and girls. Jennifer can be found on Twitter @JenniferBurden.

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