Hale is raising awareness about meningococcal meningitis and the imperative booster vaccination by hosting an a cappella singing competition with the Voices of Meningitis campaign.
“I think it’s so important because it’s so easy to prevent it,” Hale explained. “The key to prevention is vaccination. And I think if you don’t know anything about meningococcal meningitis, it’s rare but it’s easy to get and it can potentially be fatal. It can take the life of an otherwise healthy person in 24 hours. With this vaccination, it’s just one less thing to worry about. A lot of people are aware of the first vaccination, which is pretty standard. You get it when you’re younger, but only 30 percent of the people who get the first vaccination get the second dose. The whole purpose of the campaign was to raise that statistic.”
Hale said she got involved with the campaign last spring for their Boost the Volume initiative.
“Basically, we were challenging high school a cappella groups to create a medley of songs and submit the videos to spread awareness,” Hale revealed.
Hale also addressed the controversy surrounding vaccinations and parents who are voluntarily making the decision not to have their children vaccinated.
“I’m not a doctor, I’m not a nurse. But I do come from a family of nurses, so I grew up with vaccinations and believing in them and, for me, I can’t speak for the people who don’t believe in them, but I do. And I look at the facts, and I look at the science behind it and vaccinations work — especially, in this case, for meningitis. That is the key to prevention.”
As part of the campaign, Hale worked with a young woman, Jamie Schanbaum, who survived meningococcal meningitis. She had the bottom part of her legs and fingers amputated as a result of the disease.
Hale said she was the most inspiring part of the experience.
“She got it in college,” Hale explained. “She lives in Texas. And she survived. She caught it in time. She lives with some pretty terrible repercussions. She had to get half of her legs amputated and part of her fingers amputated. But she is an incredible human being and she has devoted her life to spreading awareness about this disease and what we can do to help save a life. She’s just an incredible, incredible human being and I was really glad to meet her.”
Check out Hale’s PSA for Voices of Meningitis below.
For more information about the vaccination and meningococcal meningitis, visit the Voices of Meningitis website. You can also help spread awareness by using the hashtag #boostthebooster.