World Immunization Week 2019
During the last week of April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes World Immunization Week – a time dedicated to promoting the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. CDC’s Global Immunization Division (GID) is involved in one of the most successful and cost-effective of all global public health missions – vaccination against deadly diseases – which saves the lives of 2 to 3 million people every year. National immunization programs give every child the chance at a healthy life from the start by not only serving as a point of contact for health care at the beginning of life, but also providing an opportunity to address other health priorities. CDC works closely with a wide variety of partners to protect global citizens against contagious and life-threatening vaccine-preventable diseases.
Forty-eight countries introduced a total of sixty new vaccines in 2018, including vaccines for hepatitis B, inactivated polio (IPV), rubella and rotavirus vaccines. These new vaccines, together with the contributions from the people who develop, administer and receive them, can substantially reduce childhood illness and death. Moreover, through the power of herd immunity, where immunized people protect those who cannot be vaccinated due to certain health issues, we can defend more people against disease than those vaccinated. In 2017, an estimated 116.2 million children received a vaccination. This was the highest number ever reported.
Despite these gains, challenges remain. Global vaccination coverage, at 85%, is still the global below our goal of 95% coverage. An estimated 60% of children living in ten countries (Afghanistan Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, and South Africa) did not receive routine immunizations, including the needed third dose of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP3) vaccine. In the past two years, the world has seen an increasing number of multiple outbreaks of measles, diphtheria, yellow fever and other vaccine preventable diseases. Outbreaks of measles have occurred in countries once free of measles. If we don’t stop these preventable outbreaks, measles could be reestablished in some of these countries.
It is critical for countries to intensify their efforts now to make sure all people receive the protection of vaccines. Countries that have achieved or made progress towards elimination goals must commit and sustain the progress they have made. It is not a one time effort, all children need to be protected.
This World Immunization Week, we have the opportunity to refocus our efforts to protect people from vaccine preventable diseases. Join me to raise awareness.
This World Immunization Week, we have the opportunity to thank the frontline health workers who work tirelessly to vaccinate, and to ensure that we double down on our efforts to protect people from vaccine preventable diseases. Join me to raise awareness.
- Perceptions and acceptability of an experimental Ebola vaccine among health care workers, frontline staff, and the general public during the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.external icon
- Using Predictive Evaluation to Design, Evaluate, and Improve Training for Polio Volunteers.external icon
- Immunogenicity of Fractional-Dose Vaccine during a Yellow Fever Outbreak – Preliminary Report.external icon
CDC in Action
CDC experts work with partners to control, eliminate and eradicate vaccine-preventable diseases among the world’s most vulnerable populations. During World Immunization Week, we highlight some examples of this work.
Readying the World for Maternal RSV Vaccine – By Dr. Bruce Innis, Global Head, Respiratory Infections & Maternal Immunization, PATH Center for Vaccine Access and Immunization, and AMI Strategic Leadership and Dr. Sadaf Khan, PATH Senior Program Officer and AMI Maternal & Newborn Health Technical Advisor
Overcoming Refusals to Polio Vaccination in Uttar Pradesh – by A.J. Williams, Stop Transmission of Polio Team Lead, Global Immunization Division, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
I have seen Ebola. Now you have a vaccine – by Rosalind Carter, Epidemiologist, Global Immunization Division, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
DRC Yellow Fever Campaign – from Immunization Systems Branch, Global Immunization Division, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Measles Outbreaks in Europe – from the Accelerated Disease Control and VPD Surveillance Branch, Global Immunization Division, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Responding to Measles Outbreak in Colombia – Dr. Nancy Knight, Director, Division of Global Health and Dr. William Schluter, Director, Global Immunization Division