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.


23 February 2015 | Geneva - Use of the same syringe or needle to give injections to more than one person is driving the spread of a number of deadly...

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Haemophilus influenzae vaccine introduced in all national immunization programmes

20 November 2014 - The 18 November marked a major achievement in the history of immunization programmes in the Eastern Mediterranean Region following the introduction of the  vaccine (Hib) in...

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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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In focus

World Immunization Week is a global annual initiative, led by Member States, in collaboration with WHO and partners, to celebrate and promote immunization through advocacy, education and communication activities during...

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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