Vaccine-preventable diseases and immunization

A child is receiving vaccination while being held by his mother An estimated 1.239 million children under five years of age died in 2008 in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. More than 20% of these deaths are attributed to diseases for which potent vaccines are available.

Immunization is one of the most efficacious, cost-effective and safe public health interventions. Vaccines continue to have a tremendous impact on public health, saving millions of lives each year.

Regional immunization programmes provide vaccines against at least six diseases as part of the national Expanded Programme on Immunization: tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio and measles.

Recent years have witnessed remarkable improvements in routine vaccination coverage in several countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region, and hence, in control and prevention of several vaccine-preventable diseases. Despite this, a lot of work is still needed if the regional targets of immunization programmes are to be achieved.


Measles: know the risks, check your status, protect yourself

April 2014 - Measles is a highly contagious, serious disease caused by a virus. In 1980, before widespread vaccination, measles caused an estimated 2.6 million deaths each year. Read more

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April 2014 - Ditta and Richard meant to take Dora, their younger child, for her second dose of the combined measles/mumps/rubella vaccine, but somehow it just slipped their minds. As...

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2013 Vaccination Week

The fourth Vaccination Week in the Eastern Mediterranean Region will be celebrated from 24 to 30 April 2013. Vaccination Week 2013 focuses on measles elimination, with the slogan “Stop measles now!” All the...

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In focus


Are you up to date? World Immunization Week – celebrated in the last week of April (24-30) –  aims to promote one of the world’s most powerful tools for health: the use...

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An intercountry meeting on measles/rubella elimination will take place in Marrakesh, Morocco, from 19 to 23 September 2012. The meeting will: review progress towards achieving measles elimination; review progress towards achieving measles...

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Statistics and figures

In 2010:

Regional coverage of diptheria, pertussis, tetanus (DPT3): 87%

Regional coverage of measles-containing vaccine (MCV1): 85%

Regional reported number of measles cases: 10 072

Immunization coverage in the Eastern Mediterranean Region