Grandparents and grandfriends go to great lengths to protect the children in their lives. Among other things they provide safe environments, share stories that connect children to their roots and, in some cases, help pay for their education or after-school activities.
They care deeply. So why then does the number of adults up to date on their vaccinations remain low?
Only 20 percent have received their Tdap vaccination to provide protection from tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough.
To help educate unsuspecting older adults, children and youth and families, Generations Unitedrecently launched Valuing Vaccinations Across Generations, an awareness campaign designed to bridge age-specific efforts to increase immunizations into intergenerational conversations within families and among different generations.
Our campaign goal is simple: We want to encourage people to wear a #BandAGEofhonor and protect their family and others by ensuring their vaccinations are up to date. It’s a unique effort that uses a lifespan approach to spark conversations around building healthy intergenerational communities where people of all ages are valued and can thrive.
At Generations United, we’re not experts in vaccinations. So we’re honored to be working in partnership with the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) as we develop this international effort.
Together, we’re developing tools to encourage intergenerational dialogues about health and protecting other generations. To date, we’ve created a lifespan vaccine infographic, social media memes, videos, and a recently released intergenerational discussion guide that includes activities and discussion starters. All of these are available on our new website www.bandAGEofhonor.org.
Elvis as Role Model
We’re also elevating “vaccine champions,” people like Elvis Presley, who became the poster boy for the polio vaccine when he took his shot from an army doctor before going on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1956. Vaccine rates among the American population shot from 2 percent to 85 percent by the time of his Army discharge in 1960.
Grandparents and other older adults have the same opportunity to demonstrate leadership.
Eighty-nine-year-old Tom Taylor, who lived through the polio epidemic and remembered Elvis’s impact, said just as much in his video testimonial on the value of vaccines for all ages: “We have to do what we can to keep our communities healthy and to help our young children who are coming up.”
People who eat well and exercise help keep our communities healthy. You can help the young children coming up by staying current on immunizations and encouraging those you love to do the same. Click here to continue reading.