June 9, 1999
As a result of Betty Bumpers’s and Rosalynn Carter’s efforts to promote childhood immunizations and comprehensive AIDS vaccine research, President Bill Clinton launched the Vaccine Research Center (VRC), a new venture for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The VRC was named for Dale and Betty Bumpers to recognize their tireless efforts to promote childhood immunizations and research for other vaccines as a comprehensive national healthcare program. After her husband became governor of Arkansas in 1971, Bumpers, as first lady, launched a campaign to have every child in the state immunized against childhood diseases by the age of two. The campaign garnered national attention through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and Bumpers was soon assisting other states in developing similar immunization programs.