World Immunization Week 2022

Updated April 22, 2022

Dates: April 24-30, 2022
Theme: Long Life for All, #Vaccines4Life

CDC joins partners in honoring our public and community health workers for their tireless efforts to advance the goal of a Long Life for All, this year’s World Immunization Week (WIW) theme.

25+ Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

CDC engages globally to support the development and implementation of vaccination strategies and programs that can prevent more than 25 vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD), as well as build capacity to detect, mitigate, and respond to pandemic threats.

5 groups shown: mothers and infants, children, teenagers, adults, and special populations. #Vaccines4Life Long Live for All

Explore below some of the many ways in which access to #Vaccines4Life protect people and communities.


Many vaccines that protect mothers can also safeguard infant health.

Maternal & Neonatal Tetanus Elimination (MNTE)

Neonatal tetanus is almost always fatal but can be prevented when mothers are fully vaccinated before giving birth and skilled birthing attendants assist with hygienic deliveries.

  • 168 million of the 250 million women of reproductive age living in high-risk areas received at least 2 doses of tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine (as of December 2020).
  • Infants protected at birth against tetanus increased to 86% in 2020 (up from 74% in 2000).
  • 47 of the 59 priority countries were validated to have achieved MNTE (as of December 2020).

Rubella Elimination and Protecting Babies from Congenital Rubella Syndrome

Significant progress has been made globally toward more equitable protection against rubella and congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), the leading cause of vaccine-preventable birth defects.

  • 89% of the world has introduced rubella-containing vaccine (RCV) into national immunization programs.
  • Nearly half (48%) of all countries have eliminated rubella transmission.

Hepatitis B Birth-Dose Vaccination

Vaccinating babies against hepatitis B within 24 hours of birth followed by 2-3 doses within 6 months will prevent chronic hepatitis B. Hepatitis B:

  • is a chronic disease that affects 296 million lives globally.
  • causes approximately 820,000 deaths worldwide each year.

A new CDC study in Sierra Leone suggests that while hepatitis B immunization has lowered the burden of hepatitis B virus infection among children, infections in children continue to occur at birth or prior to receiving their first vaccine dose. Birth-dose vaccination could help prevent these infections.

Childhood vaccinations save an estimated 4 million lives worldwide every year.

Childhood Vaccinations – Routine Immunization Worldwide

  • Lives Saved
    • Vaccination for 10 common diseases saved an estimated 69 million children between 2000 and 2019.
    • Vaccination efforts are expected to save the lives of another 120 million born between 2020 and 2030.
  • Cause for Concern
    • After stagnating from 2010-2019, global immunization coverage for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis-containing vaccine (DTP) declined in 2020 to the lowest rates recorded in over a decade, likely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Polio Eradication

  • Good News: Unprecedented opportunity to defeat wild polio
    • Afghanistan and Pakistan remain the only countries with endemic wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) transmission with a historically low number of reported cases in 2021 and only 2 cases so far in 2022.
    • Programs in Afghanistan and Pakistan are coordinating to improve cross-border polio eradication efforts and reach persistently missed and inaccessible children to defeat wild polio.
  • Cause for Concern: Recurring polio outbreaks must be stopped
    • Recurring polio outbreaks and the recent WPV1detection in Malawi are urgent reminders that under and unvaccinated children are at risk for polio no matter where they live.
        • Ongoing and new circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) outbreaks threaten progress toward polio eradication with type 2 cVDPV responsible for most outbreaks.
        • Globally, there have been 2,250 cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) paralytic polio, most in the African Region (as of March 2022).
        • In February 2022, Malawi declared a polio outbreak following detection of WPV1 in a three-year-old suffering from paralysis. CDC laboratory analysis confirmed that the virus is genetically linked to WPV1 that was detected in Pakistan’s Sindh province in October 2019.
        • Detection of WPV1 outside of Afghanistan and Pakistan underscores the importance of prioritizing immunization activities everywhere while focusing on permanently interrupting WPV1 transmission in Pakistan and Afghanistan to prevent future importations.

Any case of polio is a public health emergency requiring a rapid and robust response. Polio cannot but cured, but it is preventable through vaccination.

Measles Elimination

  • Good News: Measles vaccinations save the most lives
    • CDC-supported worldwide vaccination efforts against measles helped save over 31.7 million lives from 2000 to 2020.
    • Measles vaccine accounts for 76.4% of the benefits from global return on investment in immunization (based on cost-of-illness; across all countries and years).
  • Cause for Concern: Measles vaccination coverage stalled
    • Every region in the world has a measles elimination goal, but progress toward measles elimination stalled in recent years.
    • Vaccination coverage declined in all but one WHO region in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Over 22 million infants did not receive their first dose of measles-containing vaccine (MCV1), the largest annual increase of infants missing MCV1 in 20 years.

Global efforts to recover from setbacks are focused on bolstering national immunization programs to reach every child and closing dangerous immunity gaps by implementing high-coverage, mass vaccination campaigns.

Protecting adolescent health through vaccination offers immediate and long-term health benefits.

HPV Vaccine Introduction

Vaccines are the best tool to prevent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, especially where screening and treatment for cervical cancer is not widely available.

  • Immunization during adolescence is the best tool to prevent HPV and should be introduced into the national immunization program to save lives.
    • HPV infection is the leading cause of cervical cancer worldwide.
    • Despite having safe and effective vaccines, a woman dies of cervical cancer every 2 minutes globally.
    • Immunization during adolescence is the best tool to prevent HPV, especially where screening and treatment for cervical cancer is not widely available

CDC recently studied and shared Lessons Learned from HPV Vaccine Introduction in Three Countries.

Global Road Map to Defeating Meningitis

Bacterial meningitis, the most-deadly form of meningitis, strikes quickly, causes disruptive outbreaks, and is preventable with safe and effective vaccines.

  • Meningitis kills 250,000 people annually.
  • 1 in 5 people affected by meningitis are left with long-term complications.

Read the CDC and WHO jointly published journal supplement that includes best practices and case studies for translating bacterial meningitis surveillance and laboratory data into global vaccine policy to save lives.

Immunization programs can most effectively prevent death, disease, and disabilities by improving vaccination coverage across the life course.

Adult populations can continue to benefit from immunizations, including higher risk groups, such as health and essential workers, the elderly or people with pre-existing health conditions.

Global COVID-19 Vaccine Scaleup

  • COVID-19 vaccination efforts have been hampered by:
    • weaknesses in vaccine-preventable disease (VPD) programs.
    • insufficient national vaccine safety monitoring and reporting systems.
    • variable VPD surveillance and response capacity.
    • poor supply chain management.
    • absence of adult/life-course vaccination programs.
  • The Facts (as of February 2022)
    • 47 WHO member countries had vaccinated less than 10% of their populations.
    • 74 countries had less than 40% of their populations vaccinated against COVID-19.

CDC’s global activities are designed to enhance COVID-19 response capabilities and simultaneously continue to build longer-term, sustainable capacity to respond to future pandemic threats.

Vaccines protect higher-risk groups such as health and essential workers, displaced populations, and communities at-risk for outbreak-prone diseases.

Vaccines are used to prevent and control outbreak-prone diseases, such as typhoid, cholera, Ebola, and yellow fever.

Typhoid Fever Control

While improvements in water and sanitation are essential to preventing typhoid fever, vaccines are increasingly important as multidrug resistant strains of Salmonella Typhi (the bacterium that causes typhoid fever) have been emerging since the 1980s.

  • Typhoid fever:
    • affects over 10 million people annually.
    • causes over 116,000 deaths per year, mostly among children.

The CDC-supported Navi Mumbai typhoid conjugate vaccine (TCV) introduction pilot was the first to show that a TCV campaign could be successfully completed at a low cost in a high population setting without disrupting routine immunization services.

Cholera Control

Cholera is one of the most rapidly fatal infectious diseases, but oral cholera vaccines can help prevent infection and control outbreaks.

  • Around 1.3 billion people are at risk of cholera worldwide.
  • 1.3 to 4 million cholera cases each year in countries where local transmission occurs.

CDC’s emphasis on protecting people and their livelihoods from vaccine-preventable, infectious, and chronic diseases could not be more critical or more urgent. The COVID-19 pandemic and other recent emerging health threats have made clear that safe and effective vaccines, improved vaccination access and acceptance, and strong immunization programs are vital to protect health, wellness, safety, and security in the United States and around the world.

CDC’s global immunization mission helps improve equitable access to #Vaccines4Life in pursuit of a Long Life for All.

South Africa: “Zwakala” Vaccination Campaign

Ivory Park, Thembisa, South Africa

In South Africa, youth mobilize the “Zwakala” (Come on Over) vaccination campaign to protect their community from COVID-19 and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

Health workers install a vaccination campaign sign atop a car in South Africa.
We Protect Each Other

Community mobilizers encourage people to “play your part and vaccinate now to protect each other.”

A female nurse prepares a dose of hexavalent vaccine for a child sitting on woman's lap.
Catch-up Immunizations for Kids

Nurse Serwalo prepares to administer a dose of hexavalent vaccine that offers this child protection against multiple disease threats, during a pop-up vaccination drive.

A boy proudly displays his vaccination record card while sitting curbside on a street in South Africa.
A Teen's Vaccination Journey

Tebogo shows his “vaccination journey” to protect his health and others.

Page last reviewed: April 22, 2022
Content source: Global Immunization