Making immunization into a tradition
The Spell of the Immunity Charm
Vaccines save the lives of millions of children each year. And yet in some places, even where they are available, their importance go underrecognized by mothers and caregivers. Enter the Immunity Charm. By taking a simple bracelet commonly given to children from their parents as a symbol of protection, and adding color coded beads representing immunizations, we can support mothers, their communities and healthworkers in normalizing immunization. “It is considered as a tradition and people accept it easily.” - Afghan Imman
Vaccines save the lives of 2 - 3 million children each year, but 1.5 million more could be saved if they were to receive all the required vaccines. While reaching every last child is an ongoing challenge, in some places lack of information or perceived conflict with traditional practices and beliefs mean that caregivers do not recognize the value vaccines have for the health and wellbeing of their children To overcome both the information gap and cultural bias against vaccine, we need to reframe the issue to show both the value of vaccines and how immunization practice can be consistant with traditional values.
Turning the evil eye on disease
The “nazar” or evil eye is an ancient, deep-rooted traditional symbol of protection, with resonance across socioeconomic classes and educational levels. Across South Asia, children commonly wear bracelets with a nazer charm given to them by their parents.
The Immunity Charm™
A simple bracelet comprised of a black thread and screw closure, it comes preloaded with a nazar charm and a series of black beads. At each immunization, colored beads representing each of the EPI vaccine antigens are added to it.
3 Powerful Drivers
Mothers Mothers see the charm as a symbol of protection against disease and as being a good mother among her peers CommunityThe Immunity Charm™ is a visible symbol to influential family and community members to encourage mothers to have their children vaccinated Healthcare workers Healthcare workers have an additional and readily visible indication of a child’s immunization status seeing the specific type and number of colored bead that reflect the immunization status of children (if the official immunization record is not available).