World Immunization Week is celebrated in the last week of April each year. This year the theme is “Long Life for All”.
For more than two centuries, vaccines have helped keep people healthy—from the very first vaccine developed to protect against smallpox to the newest vaccines used to prevent severe cases of COVID-19.
Since then, families and communities have entrusted vaccines to protect their loved ones. But the value of vaccines is measured by more than the number of doses given. Vaccines provide everyone a chance at a fulfilling life.
Each April, World Immunization Week brings together people from around the world to highlight the importance of vaccines and how they protect people of all ages against many diseases, giving us the opportunity to pursue a life well-lived. This year’s campaign comes at an especially critical time as the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted essential health services, including routine immunization, setting back progress by more than a decade. Unfortunately, millions of people are still missing out on the lifesaving benefits of vaccines, making it urgent to catch up and reach those who have been missed.
The 2022 theme “Long Life for All” aims to unify people around the idea that vaccines make it possible for us to follow our dreams, protect our loved ones and live a long, healthy life.
Thanks to vaccines:
Parents can worry less about their children suffering from devastating diseases that
once plagued past generations because of vaccines. For the past two decades, more
than 1.1 billion children were immunized, saving 4-5 million lives each year and helping to reduce child deaths by half.
Vaccines for common diseases like measles, diarrheal diseases and pneumonia are allowing more children around the world to live longer and more fulfilling lives where they can go to school, play with friends and make memories with loved ones. Other vaccines, like those that protect against the flu or cervical cancer, keep people healthy so that they can go to work, travel and spend more time with the people they love.
After the last two years, we all are too familiar with the loss, fear and uncertainty that
accompany disease outbreaks. Thanks to vaccines against diseases from COVID-19 to Ebola and cholera, we have the tools to keep our loved ones safe from health crises.
However, not everyone has the same access to these life-saving tools. About 23 million
children missed out on basic vaccines in 2020 – the highest number since 2009. This is unfair, puts us all at risk and makes catch-up campaigns all the more urgent. Everyone deserves a chance to live a healthy, fulfilling life – no matter who they are or where they live.
Vaccines give everyone the opportunity to reach their full potential and pursue a life
well lived. Ultimately, vaccines provide hope for all of us to enjoy a healthy, more
fulfilling life – and that’s something we should all be fighting for.
Link to the World Immunization Week site:
Link to related WHO video: