The last week of April is celebrated as World Immunization Week each year. This year, the theme is ‘Vaccines Work’.
Immunization prevents illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases including
- cervical cancer,
- hepatitis B,
- pertussis (whooping cough),
- rotavirus diarrhoea,
- rubella and
Immunization currently averts an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year. An additional 1.5 million deaths could be avoided, however, if global vaccination coverage improves.
An estimated 19.4 million infants worldwide are still missing out on basic vaccines.
The main goal of the campaign is to raise awareness about the critical importance of full immunization throughout life, and its role in achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
As part of the 2017 campaign, WHO and partners aim to:
- Highlight the importance of immunization as a top global health investment priority.
- Promote understanding of the action steps required to achieve the Global Vaccine Action Plan.
- Showcase immunization’s role in sustainable development and global health security.
Expanding access to immunization is crucial to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Routine immunization is a building block of strong primary health care and universal health coverage.
Immunization is also a fundamental strategy in achieving other health priorities, from controlling viral hepatitis, to curbing antimicrobial resistance, to providing a platform for adolescent health and improving antenatal and newborn care.
Despite improvements in individual countries and a strong global rate of new vaccine introduction, all of the targets for disease elimination—including measles, rubella, and maternal and neonatal tetanus—are behind schedule.
There are 5 factors (challenges) to achieving results in immunization coverage:
- quality and use of data
- community involvement
- better access to immunization services for marginalized and displaced populations
- strong health systems
- access to vaccines in all places at all times.
Link to the World Immunization Week 2017 Website:
Link to WHO World Immunization Week 2017 campaign page:
Link to WHO infographics for World Immunization Week 2017 (JPG):
Link to WHO banner for the internet:
Link to Templates for champion quotes, daily topics for web and social media:
Link to the updated WHO fact sheet on immunization:
Link to WHO news release about Vaccine Safety website:
Link to Vaccine Safety Net dot org website (WHO approved for reliable information on immunization):
Link to WHO questions and answers page on immunization and vaccine safety:
Link to WHO questions and answers page on vaccination and antibiotic resistance: