Sport Club International players appear in PSAs on the benefits of getting vaccinated

Washington, D.C., 25 April 2014 (PAHO/WHO) — Three popular soccer players from Brazil and Argentina appear in a new series of public service announcements (PSAs) that urge people to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their families from more than 20 dangerous diseases.

The PSAs, produced by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), feature Juan Silveira Santos, "Dida" Nélson de Jesús e Silva and Andrés D'Alessandro of Brazil's Sport Club International soccer team. Part of this year's Vaccination Week in the Americas campaign, the PSAs aim to raise awareness of the importance of being up to date on vaccines against diseases such as measles and rubella, especially in the lead-up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

"To win a game, sometimes you have to play offense," says D'Alessandro of Argentina. "Take the offense and get vaccinated, because vaccination is your best shot."

D'Alessandro Vacunación Es Tu Mejor Jugada - Toma la Delantera

Measles has been eliminated in the Region of the Americas since 2002 and rubella since 2003. Both diseases, however, continue to circulate in other parts of the world. The risk of reintroduction of these diseases increases with intensified international travel and population movement associated with mass events such as the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Brazil in June. Some 600,000 people are expected to travel to Brazil, a large number of them from the 32 countries competing in the games. Of these, 19 countries reported measles cases in the past year.

"Getting vaccinated against these diseases is your best shot for protecting yourself, your family and others," said PAHO/WHO Director Carissa F. Etienne. Since 2003, more than 465 million children and adults have been vaccinated as part of Vaccination Week in the Americas. The initiative's success inspired the creation in 2012 of World Immunization Week, in which some 180 countries are scheduled to participate this year.

"Are your defenses ready?" asks Brazilian soccer player Juan in another PSA. "In the game of life, vaccination improves your defenses and keeps you strong, healthy and protected." His teammate and goalie Dida says, "If you love football like I do, you defend the goal with your life. Protect your life and your family's too. Get vaccinated."

Juan - A Vacinação é a melhor defesa contra as doenças

Dida - Vacinação A Sua Melhor Jogad

PAHO/WHO also produced a short video entitled The Americas vs. measles and rubella: one shot to win the game. The 90-second video urges travelers to get vaccinated at least two weeks before traveling to the World Cup fames in Brazil to help keep measles and rubella out of the stadium and the Region of the Americas.

Las Américas vs. El sarampión y la rubéola: una vacuna para ganar este partido

Measles is a highly contagious and potentially serious disease caused by a virus. Young children who have not been vaccinated are at highest risk of suffering complications of measles, which can include death. Pregnant women who have not been vaccinated are also a high-risk group, however, the disease can affect anyone who has not been vaccinated or who has not already had the disease.

Rubella is an acute, contagious viral infection. Although it usually causes mild disease in children, it can have serious consequences for pregnant women, including fetal death or congenital defects associated with congenital rubella syndrome.

This year, PAHO/WHO and its member countries expect to vaccinate more than 63 million people of all ages, including people in indigenous communities, remote and border communities, and marginal urban zones, as well as other high-risk groups.

PAHO, founded in 1902, is the oldest international public health organization in the world. It works with its member countries to improve the health and the quality of life of the people of the Americas. It also serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of WHO.


Media contacts:   
Leticia Linn, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tel. + 202 974 3440, Mobile +1 202 701 4005, Donna Eberwine-Villagran, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tel. +1 202 974 3122, Mobile +1 202 316 5469, Sebastián Oliel, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Phone +1 202 974 3459, Mobile 202 316 5679, Communication, PAHO/WHO—