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World Immunization Week 2018


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 effective of all global public health missions – vaccination against deadly diseases – which saves the lives of 2 to 3 million people every year. Immunization saves millions of lives and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions. 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.

In support of the World Health Organization (WHO) World Immunization Week 2018 theme “Protected Together, #VaccinesWork” CDC’s Global Immunization Division (GID) has developed the following:

Message from the Director of CDC’s Center for Global Health, Dr. Rebecca Martin

Dr Rebecca Martin

Immunization programs have contributed substantially to reductions in childhood morbidity and mortality. Global diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and tetanus burden has declined by more than 90% since 1980. The annual number of cases of polio has decreased by over 99%, since the goal of global eradication was endorsed by the World Health Assembly in 1988.

Vaccines protect the future health of all populations. The sustainable and equitable introduction of new vaccines and increasing coverage with underutilized vaccines can greatly reduce vaccine preventable disease (VPD) morbidity and mortality. Using new and underutilized vaccines alongside the continued use of measles vaccine is estimated to save 23.3 million lives overall from 2011 to 2020 in low-income countries.

The impact of immunizations can be clearly seen in our efforts to eradicate polio. Last year, the number of reported cases of polio reached historical low rates with 22 cases. From 2000 – 2016, death from measles, one of the leading causes of death among children, declined by 84% worldwide. Along with decreases in pneumonia and diarrhea, the decline in measles deaths is among the three main contributors to the decline in overall child mortality during this time period.

We work to strengthen immunization systems by partnering with countries to provide evidence-based technical guidance to strengthen and expand the delivery of immunizations. CDC works with WHO, UNICEF, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and other stakeholders support the Expanded Program on Immunization by providing a broad range of strategic and technical support beyond polio. We must continue our efforts to reach every individual through developing evidence-based interventions that will effect change. The steps we make to improve global immunization around the world will stop deadly diseases in their tracks.

Latest GID Research

  • Vaccine – a publication by a member from CDC on the Status and progress of hepatitis B control through vaccination in the South-East Asia Region
  • Vaccine – a publication on Use of a new global indicator for vaccine safety surveillance and trends in adverse events following immunization reporting
  • The Indian Journal of Pediatrics – a publication on the way ahead of global polio eradication.
  • Vaccine – a publication on rotavirus in Mongolia.
  • Pedagogy Healtha publication showing the use of Predictive Evaluation to Design, Evaluate, and Improve Training for Polio Volunteers.

CDC in Action

CDC experts work with partners to eliminate and eradicate vaccine-preventable diseases among the world’s most vulnerable populations. During World Immunization Week, we highlight some examples of this work:



Tetanus: Eliminating the Forgotten, Deadly Disease by Dr. Rebecca Casey, EIS officer, Global Immunization Division, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Preventing Cervical Cancer in Cambodia: Evaluating the HPV Vaccination Demonstration Project by Julie Garon, MPH, Vaccine Introduction Team, Global Immunization Division, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative History Project: Documenting the Eradication of Polio by Oral Historian Hana Crawford, Project Manager Mary Hilpertshauser, Archivist Laura Frizzell, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Feature Stories

Vaccination and Vigilance are Keys to Protecting People from Measles, No Matter Where They Live from the Accelerated Disease Control and VPD Surveillance Branch, Global Immunization Division, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Wiping Out Rubella Worldwide: A Leading Cause of Vaccine-Preventable Birth Defects from the Accelerated Disease Control and VPD Surveillance Branch, Global Immunization Division, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Online Resources

A Facebook Live event was held on March 22, 2018 at the CDC Museum. It received just under 2,000 views within hours of being posted and reached over 6,100 people in 24 hours. You can view the event here.

  • Page last reviewed: April 26, 2018
  • Page last updated: April 26, 2018
  • Content source:

    Global Health
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