World Immunization Week 2021

Dates: April 24-30, 2021
Theme: “Vaccines bring us closer”

Vaccines bring us closer to the people, moments, milestones, and goals we care about most.

As more people are protected from COVID-19, vaccines will bring us closer again physically as travel restrictions, masking and distancing requirements are lifted, but vaccines bring us closer in many other ways and have for decades:

  • Vaccines allow us to freely gather safely, whether for work, leisure, learning, duty, or worship.
  • Vaccines build bridges across generations, protecting the very young and old by preventing disease transmission within households and among caregivers.
  • Vaccines bring us closer to our own potential, enabling the immunized to thrive across the lifespan, with body and mind safeguarded from dangerous and debilitating vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs).

A year ago, there were 26 dangerous diseases for which we had safe and effective vaccines to prevent and control. Today, we add COVID-19 to the list of VPDs as four vaccines are currently being deployed under emergency use to save lives and livelihoods from the grip of the pandemic.

Too many children miss out on the life-saving power of vaccines.

Given a healthy start in life, free from the fear of contracting a vaccine-preventable disease, we expect to see our children reach their 5th birthdays, study, explore, grow, celebrate and love. We hope to see our loved ones venture out into communities, the workplace and the wider world with confidence to contribute, provide and thrive throughout the lifespan, but…

As of April 2021, almost 70 preventive immunization campaigns in over 60 countries remain postponed due to COVID-19, and routine immunization coverage is down globally, including in the United States. As a global immunization community, we must not lose track of these missed children, and we must close the gaps that hinder the equitable delivery and access to all vaccines in childhood and throughout the lifespan.

CDC partners to protect communities and prevent outbreaks.

A young girl receives oral polio vaccine during an immunization campaign in the Philippines in January 2021.

A young girl receives oral polio vaccine during an immunization campaign in the Philippines in January 2021. (Courtesy: WHO Philippines)

CDC is committed to addressing barriers to achieving high vaccine coverage worldwide by helping countries strengthen their immunization systems, introduce new vaccines into national programs and close dangerous immunity gaps by applying for and conducting successful mass vaccination campaigns safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, at the end of 2020, the government of the Philippines took steps to ensure that over 9 million at-risk children received protection against measles and rubella, and nearly 7 million children received protection against polio.

CDC committed resources to support this national, two-phased integrated campaign by:

  • Providing remote technical assistance from CDC head quarters
  • Deploying 12 CDC STOP Program experts to the Philippines to assist with campaign implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and routine immunization strengthening
  • Funding partners to support:
    • campaign planning, monitoring and supervision
    • cold chain and vaccine management, and
    • activities to strengthen community engagement and vaccine confidence.

During World Immunization Week 2021, join us in thanking our frontline and essential workers, our partners, parents and caregivers, governments, private sector, charitable organization and every person, family and community working to ensure that vaccines bring us closer to CDC’s vision of a world in which everyone, everywhere is protected from vaccine-preventable diseases, disabilities, and death.

Page last reviewed: April 21, 2021
Content source: Global Immunization