In response to the Feb. 3 letter to the editor, “How to vaccinate everyone quickly,” I commend the writer for urging immediate action to prioritize vaccinations for those who choose to be vaccinated. As a registered nurse engaged in disease prevention, I agree that the COVID-19 vaccine is the key to ending this pandemic and our return to “normal.”

Vaccines save lives. The World Health Organization estimates that vaccines prevent two to three million deaths every year. But not everyone has access to live saving vaccines. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.5 million children die each year from vaccine preventable diseases. As we have learned from this pandemic, disease anywhere is a threat everywhere. Until everyone is safe, no one is safe.

U.S. support for global vaccine programs contributes to controlling the spread of disease. I encourage you to contact Senators Burr and Tillis, and Representative Butterfield and ask them to fully fund global vaccine programs of UNICEF, the World Health Organization and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, text VACCINES to 30644 to join the UN Foundation’s efforts to reduce vaccine preventable deaths.