Feb 04, 2015

Why Vaccinate?

#IAmTheWhy

The question in the headline above may seem ridiculous to you. Or, to some of you, perhaps it doesn’t.

But the reality is, our newsfeeds, our inboxes, our newspapers, our evening news broadcasts are currently inundated with the reasons why.

Measles is back. It doesn’t have to be, but it is. And while it’s a tragic turn of events for our community and our nation, it is also allowing us to raise awareness about the importance of vaccines like we never have before.

So we at Immunize Nevada have an idea.

Because SO MANY PEOPLE are talking about measles and vaccination right now on social media — mad people, motivated people — we want to give you a chance to do something about it. Something positive.

Our Executive Director Heidi Parker alluded to it in today’s RGJ:

"I believe that the majority of parents…vaccinate and believe in vaccinating their children," Parker said. "The small amount that don't believe in that are very vocal, while most parents who are vaccinating don't speak up.

"It's important for those parents to speak up and show their support for vaccinating," she said. "We need those positive voices."

Our idea: Let’s create an outlet for these positive voices.

We are hoping to start a picture campaign. With your pictures. Because our goal is to put some beautiful faces to the pro-vax movement.

We are hoping to use this as a form of positive peer pressure — as a means of confirming that the masses do vaccinate and are proud of their decision to do so.

So here’s your part: Take a picture of you, your family, someone near and dear to you in the community.

And post it with this hashtag: #IAmTheWhy.

Feel free to post it on our Facebook page, our Twitter feed or our Instagram account. And please tag us in the post using @Immunize Nevada on Facebook, or @ImmunizeNV on Twitter or Instagram.

OK, so as we mentioned above, the question is “Why vaccinate.”

And the answer is in the pictures themselves.

“I vaccinate to protect my own health and that of my community,” the solo-selfie might suggest.

“I vaccinate to care for our family, our baby, those who can’t be vaccinated because of age or illness,” suggests an image of a family, a baby or a cancer-stricken child.

Because, here’s the thing: We need positive dialogue. And your smiling, serious, silly and/or spectacular mugs might just generate that.

We want to relate on a deeply personal level: parent-to-parent, peer-to-peer, person-to-person.

Join us, won’t you? Scroll through your phone, find a picture of you or someone you care about, post it with the hashtag #IAmTheWhy. And don’t forget to tag us, too, @Immunize Nevada.

Because for people who ask the question “Why Vaccinate?” the answer might be found in the faces of friends, family and peers.

You can make a difference in this campaign. Become a voice in support of vaccination, and help spread the hashtag love.

Why vaccinate?

Look at the faces of those around you, those you love. And then, ask another question: Why would you not?

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