World Immunization Week (WIW) 2018 (24 -30 April): “Protected Together, #Vaccines Work”

World Immunization Week – celebrated in the last week of April – aims to highlight the collective action needed to ensure that every person is protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.

This year’s theme: “Protected Together, #VaccinesWork”, encourages people at every level – from donors to the general public – to go further in their efforts to increase immunization coverage for the greater good.

Background Information:

Immunization prevents illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases including

  • cervical cancer,
  • diphtheria,
  • hepatitis B,
  • measles,
  • mumps,
  • pertussis (whooping cough),
  • pneumonia,
  • polio,
  • rotavirus diarrhoea,
  • rubella and
  • tetanus.

Global vaccination coverage has stalled at 86%, with no significant changes during the past year.

Uptake of new and underused vaccines is increasing.

An estimated 19.5 million infants worldwide are still missing out on basic vaccines.

Key Messages:

We can ensure vaccines reach the people that need them most. We can be protected together.

The goal of World Immunization Week 2018 is to urge greater action on immunization around the world, with a particular focus on spotlighting the role that everyone can play in this effort, from donors to individuals.

As part of the 2018 campaign, WHO and partners aim to:

  • Highlight the importance of immunization, and the remaining gaps in global coverage
  • Underscore the value of vaccines to target donor countries and the importance of investing in immunization efforts
  • Highlight the ways in which everyone – from donors to individuals – can and must drive vaccine progress.

When people ensure that their families and communities are protected with vaccines, we are all protected together.

  • Vaccines save and improve lives.
    • Immunization is estimated to save 2-3 million lives every year.
    • Yet, too many people still aren’t reached with these life-saving tools – globally, one in seven children are excluded from the full benefits of vaccines.


  • Vaccines protect people from more than deadly diseases.
    • If we increase vaccine coverage in low- and middle-income countries by 2030, we could prevent 24 million people from falling into poverty due to health expenses.



Frontline vaccinators combat deadly diseases to ensure we remain protected together.

  • To eradicate polio, millions of courageous health workers, many of whom operate in difficult or dangerous conditions, work tirelessly to reach and protect all children with polio vaccines.
    • These workers not only protect children against the disease – they pave the way for other health programs to reach the world’s most vulnerable children.
  • Through routine immunization programs, health workers bring life-saving vaccines to people around the world, while helping provide other basic health care services.
    • In 2016 alone, health workers immunized more than 62 million children in the world’s poorest countries, which equates to over 185 million points of contact between these children and the primary health care system.
  • Health workers’ efforts to increase immunization builds the foundation for strong primary health care and is a route toward universal health coverage.


It’s vital that donors continue to invest in immunization – only then can we be protected together.

  • Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective health tools ever invented.
    • Every $1 spent on childhood immunization returns $44 in economic and social benefits.


  • From saving lives to preventing poverty, to safeguarding against malnutrition, vaccines allow people around the world to live full and healthy lives.
    • They are vital to achieving global development goals—even those not directly related to health.
      • For example, one study found that if we increase vaccine coverage in low- and middle-income countries by 2030, we could prevent 24 million people from falling into poverty due to health expenses.
      • Other studies have found that vaccinating children against measles can result in improved performance in schools.

Useful Links:

Link to World Immunization Week web site:

Link to WHO’s 10 facts on immunization:

Link to WHO Campaign materials for WIW 2018:

Link to WIW 2018 Social Media materials:

Link to WHO fact sheet on immunization coverage:

Link to WIW 2018 Campaign Essentials:

Link to WIW 2018 Key Messages:




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