In 1963, a community in the Bronx came together to recognize the value of grandparents by creating a day dedicated to them. For many grandparents, 1963 was a significant year for another reason as well; a vaccine for measles, one of the most highly-contagious and life-threatening diseases, was introduced.
Grandparents around the country would now rest easier, knowing that their grandchildren would no longer suffer from a disease that had annually infected 3-4 million people in the US.
Since that time, the U.S. has eliminated or greatly reduced numerous other diseases that once plagued our grandparents. Many grandparents can still remember the fears that their own generation faced, living without the protection of vaccines that are now commonplace.
With the focus on childhood vaccines, it is easy to forget that adults need protection as well. Vaccines not only protect the individual, but also those around them, their family and community.
In 1978, President Carter declared Grandparents Day as a national observance.
During the past 38 years, many families have initiated their own traditions to honor and celebrate the important role that grandparents play in our lives. This year, we propose adding a new tradition.
Show your grandparents just how much you care by receiving your #bandAGEofhonor this flu season together with a vaccine. As Grandparents Day coincides with the onset of flu season, a vaccine is the perfect gift to give and receive each year.
Fittingly, the US National Grandparents Day flower is the “Forget Me Not.” So let’s not forget how far we have come in saving lives and improving health through the use of immunizations.
Generations United is now working with the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute on Gerontology in Japan and the University of Granada in Spain to lead the work in their countries. Generations United is also a member of the World Coalition on Adult Vaccination Promotion. Visit bandAGEofhonor.org.
Posted on Generations United website