Why We Do What We Do
We do what we do because we are passionate about the health of children and their families. This passion is instilled in our staff and Board of Directors through the unwavering dedication of our founders, Rosalynn Carter and Betty Bumpers who have spent nearly fifty years saving the lives of children.
Organizational Achievements and Priorities
Every Child By Two- Carter/Bumpers Champions for Immunization (ECBT) is a nonprofit organization committed to reducing the burden of vaccine-preventable diseases among families and individuals. For a quarter century, ECBT has conducted a myriad of activities aimed at reaching its goals of increasing awareness of the need for timely immunizations for people of all ages, increasing the public’s understanding of the benefits of vaccines, increasing confidence in the safety of vaccines, ensuring that all families have access to life-saving vaccines, and advocating for policies that support timely vaccination.
Every Child By Two was founded in 1991 by Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and Former First Lady of Arkansas Betty Bumpers as a response to the U.S. measles epidemic, which sickened more than 55,000 individuals, hospitalized over 11,000 and killed more than 120 people, many of them young children. Carter and Bumpers have been working on immunizations since their husbands were governors in the early 70s and have been credited with the passage of laws mandating school-age vaccination requirements in every state during the Carter Administration. From 1991-1999, ECBT’s cofounders traveled the entire nation to alert governors and their spouses, elected officials and concerned community leaders about the immunization challenges within their communities. This resulted in the establishment of immunization coalitions in nearly every state, which continue to thrive today. ECBT continues to work with partners at the grassroots and state level to recommend best practices and develop successful initiatives.
In 2000, ECBT was instrumental in working with the Clinton Administration to pass a mandate requiring federal agencies serving children to assess their immunization records. ECBT subsequently worked with public health partners to establish the immunization community’s collaboration with the USDA and their Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). As WIC serves approximately 50% of our nation's young children and pregnant women, it is a critical access point to reach these populations with immunization messages and services. Therefore, ECBT continues on a variety of joint initiatives with the USDA/WIC each year aimed at reducing economic and racial disparities in vaccination rates among WIC clients.
ECBT collaborated closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in support of efforts to develop Immunization Information Systems (IIS) in every state that are able to track children’s vaccination records and send reminders to providers when their patients’ vaccines are due. As this effort aligned perfectly with ECBT’s former mission to “foster the establishment of a systematic method to locate and immunize children”, ECBT worked closely with partners to educate governors, members of Congress, health plans, schools, and providers about the benefits of funding the establishment of IIS, reporting data to IIS and utilizing the data from these systems to increase timely immunization.
ECBT consistently serves as a source to the national and local media reporting on vaccine-related issues. In addition, our regular meetings with parenting magazine editors have informed articles in a variety of print and online publications. In 2008, ECBT initiated the largest campaign in the history of our organization – Vaccinate Your Baby (VYB). VYB, which became a long-term program of ECBT. VYB targeted families with messages about the importance of timely vaccination of children. By directing the public to credible, science-based information on vaccines, ECBT wanted to ensure they were making educated vaccination decisions for themselves and their families. The program included the Vaccinate Your Baby website, the Shot of Prevention blog, the Vaccinate Your Baby Facebook page and two Twitter feeds (@EveryChildby2 and @ShotofPrev). As a result of the VYB program, ECBT has become one of the largest online sources for pro-vaccination information.
In December 2015, ECBT's Vaccinate Your Baby program expanded to include the whole family. This new initiative, Vaccinate Your Family, promotes the importance of vaccinating people of all ages, and includes a new website - www.VaccinateYourFamily.org. This site replaces the Vaccinate Your Baby website, and has information on vaccines for pregnant women, babies/children, preteens/teens, and adults. It also includes stories of families affected by vaccine-preventable diseases, and links to a variety of resources from ECBT and other credible organizations. Additionally, in conjunction with the launch of the new program, ECBT changed the name of its popular Facebook page to Vaccinate Your Family.
To learn more about the Vaccinate Your Family program and ECBT’s other educational initiatives, visit the Campaigns page on the ECBT website, and visit the Shot of Prevention blog, the Vaccinate Your Family Facebook page.
In addition to educating the public about vaccines, ECBT also works to keep healthcare providers and public health partners up-to-date on the latest immunization information, and strives to assist vaccine advocates in their immunization education and policy efforts. ECBT News keeps immunization stakeholders throughout the nation apprised about timely vaccine-related issues and alerts them to take action on issues such as the congressional vaccine budget, state immunization legislation and other pertinent issues. ECBT Daily Clips are provided each weekday morning to subscribers to apprise them of vaccine-related news items that appear in national and local publications. The purpose of this service is to act as a catalyst for immunization coalition and health department staff that aim to better educate their local media on issues related to immunizations and vaccine safety. Healthcare practitioners report that the clips also help to inform them in advance of questions that may be presented by patients and parents when news stories arise regarding outbreaks in local communities, safety issues, and so forth. The ECBT website contains information on vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases along with suggested strategies and resources to assist healthcare providers and other advocates in raising immunization rates and encouraging pro-vaccination legislation.
ECBT remains committed to ensuring that public health policies and laws are based on sound scientific evidence. To this end, ECBT monitors and acts on legislation, regulations and policies that affect immunization delivery at both the state and federal levels. Additionally, ECBT serves as a founding member of the 317 Coalition, which seeks to ensure stable congressional funding to state and city immunization programs across the country each year. ECBT also hosts the monthly Childhood Immunization Policy Call, which provides immunization stakeholders with a forum to discuss issues related to childhood immunization policies and offer guidance to one another on actions needed to forward pro-vaccine legislation, support current legislation, and oppose legislation that is not supported by sound science. Furthermore, ECBT educates federal legislators by hosting congressional briefings and attending one-on-one meetings with members of Congress and their staffers to encourage ongoing support of immunizations and the critical vaccine infrastructure that ensures the delivery of safe and effective vaccines.
Through 25 years of service, Every Child by Two and its partners in public health have developed many successful strategies to ensure that every child in our nation is protected from vaccine-preventable diseases; however, there is still much to be done. ECBT will continue our efforts to protect families against deadly diseases knowing that as long as a single person becomes ill from a vaccine-preventable disease, our work is not complete.