World Immunization Week 2023

This Year's Theme: The Big Catch-Up

Updated April 5, 2023

Every year for World Immunization Week, recognized annually the last week of April, the global immunization community comes together to celebrate the lifesaving power of vaccines.

This year’s theme, The Big Catch-Up, is an opportunity to raise awareness of the urgent and critical need to find and vaccinate children who missed vaccines that help to protect them from illness, disability, and death.

No Child Should Miss a Lifesaving Vaccine

With three years of pandemic-related disruptions to vital health services and strained health systems, the world lost 30 years of progress to protect children with routine immunizations, an essential component to primary health services. In every region of the world, outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles, polio, and diphtheria are rising.

  • In 2021, 25 million children missed at least one routine vaccine, and 18 million received no vaccines at all.
  • In 2021, nearly 40 million children were left dangerously susceptible to the growing measles threat, and an estimated 128,000 died of measles.
  • In 2021 and 2022, polio outbreaks were detected in areas with low vaccination rates. Cases of paralysis from polio were found in the United States and London.

No child should be denied the right to a lifesaving vaccine. We must quickly find and vaccinate children who missed vaccines. CDC is supporting countries and partners to rapidly direct attention and resources toward essential immunization services.

Vaccines Save Lives and Protect Health

Immunization is a key component of primary health care and is one of the best investments to make in support of a healthier and safer world.  We have vaccines to prevent more than 20 life-threatening diseases, helping people of all ages live longer, healthier lives.

  • Childhood vaccinations save an estimated 4 million lives worldwide every year.
  • From 2000 – 2021, measles vaccines saved an estimated 56 million lives.
  • Polio vaccines have prevented paralysis in an estimated 20 million people since 1988.

CDC’s Commitment to Global Immunization

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

CDC collaborates with countries and partners to support the development and implementation of vaccination strategies and programs, and to build capacity to detect and respond to vaccine-preventable disease threats.