Letter: We must keep funding the global fight against vaccine preventable-diseases, like polio

A healthcare worker administers a polio vaccine to a child in Lahore, Pakistan, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

We’ve gone back to the office and school and it’s also time to get back to what’s most important — making sure the people of the world continue to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. One thing we do not want to go back to is polio. Did you know the U.S. recorded a case of polio for the first time in nearly a decade which resulted in paralysis of a young man?

From the U.K. to Ukraine, the number of polio cases around the world is rising because we have let our guard down and we are now all vulnerable.

It takes just 36 hours for an infectious disease to travel from a remote village to a major city on any continent. To avoid this, we need to continue to support the funding for global immunization programs. Supporting countries now will prevent the spread later.

On average, each dollar invested in immunization generates more than $50 in savings. It is critical that lawmakers fully fund immunization programs for children around the world, including USAID, UNICEF, and Gavi, the vaccine alliance.

Please contact Sens. Mike Lee and Mitt Romney and also Reps. Burgess Owens, Chris Stewart, and Blake Moore to tell them you support funding global vaccine programs at the highest levels and hope they do, too. It’s time to get back to what’s most important — our future generations!

Lori Harding, South Jordan

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