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World Immunization Week

The Value of Vaccination

Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a disease that could be prevented with a safe and effective vaccine. Millions more children survive but are left severely disabled.

Vaccines have the power not only to save but also transform lives by protecting against disease—giving children a chance to grow up healthy, go to school, and improve their lives. Vaccination campaigns sometimes provide the only contact with health care services that children receive in their early years of life.

Immunization is one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions—it currently averts an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year in all age groups from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), and measles.

Unfortunately, an estimated 22 million infants are not fully immunized with routine vaccines every year, and more than 1.5 million children younger than 5 die from diseases that could be prevented by existing vaccines.

Photo: Young boy receiving the oral polio vaccine in Nepal, 2011. Photograph courtesy of Adam Bjork/CDC.Immunization is a global health priority at CDC focusing on polio eradication, reducing measles deaths, and strengthening immunization systems. CDC works closely with a wide variety of partners in more than 60 countries to vaccinate children and provides scientific and technical support to ministries of health to strengthen and expand countries' capacities to sustain, monitor, and evaluate their national immunization programs.

World Immunization Week

World Immunization Week, beginning on 20 April 2013, aims to promote one of the world's most powerful tools for health— the use of vaccines to protect, or "immunize", people of all ages against disease.
Immunization Week initiatives began in the Region of the Americas in 2003. The Week was observed simultaneously in WHO's six regions for the first time in 2012, with the participation of more than 180 countries, territories and areas. The World Health Assembly endorsed World Immunization Week during its May 2012 meeting, alongside the Global Vaccine Action Plan.

World Immunization Week—which takes place during the last week in April every year—gives countries and our partners around the world a focused opportunity to raise public awareness of how immunization saves lives—during the same week, every year, in every country. Activities include vaccination campaigns, training workshops, round-table discussions, public information campaigns, and more.

Logo: World Immunization WeekThe ultimate goal of World Immunization Week is for more people—and their communities—to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. Working from the global slogan, "Protect your world – get vaccinated", participation can be tailored to regional and national public health priorities.

Immunization Weeks around the Globe

2013 is the second year that each of WHO's six regions will participate in World Immunization Week. Every region has adopted a slogan and activities based on the priorities of its countries:

Global Vaccine Summit

A Global Vaccine Summit will be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on April 24-25 to coincide with World Immunization Week. This summit will highlight the role that vaccines and immunization systems play in achieving global child health and development goals and will continue the momentum of the Decade of Vaccines. Individuals and institutions with innovative approaches and demonstrated commitment across a broad spectrum of the vaccine enterprise will gather to renew their commitment to children and immunizations.

More Information

 

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  • Page last reviewed: April 22, 2013
  • Page last updated: April 22, 2013
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