Vaccination for all
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 the last week of April and beyond.
In 2015, the global campaign theme for Immunization Week is “Close the immunization gap” with the slogan “Vaccination for all”.
Immunization Week aims to ensure that more people are protected against vaccine preventable diseases through: raising awareness; increasing utilization/demand; mobilizing resources and partners; and ensuring continuous commitment.
Vaccination Week in Eastern Mediterranean Region
Since 2010, Vaccination Week in the Region has been observed by the Member States as a regional initiative. Successes of regional initiatives and high level support from the Member States all around the world have led the initiative to be global.
Global Vaccine Action Plan
The World Health Assembly endorsed World Immunization Week in May 2012 through resolution WHA65.18, alongside the Global Vaccine Action Plan, which is a framework to prevent millions of deaths by 2020 through more equitable access to exisiting vaccines for people in all communities.
Benefits of immunization
Immunization is one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions and prevents between an estimated 2 and 3 million deaths every year in all age groups from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and measles. From infants to senior citizens, immunization prevents debilitating illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases. Moreover, the benefits of immunization are increasingly being extended to adolescents and adults, providing protection against life-threatening diseases, such as hepatitis, influenza, meningitis and cancers that occur in adulthood.
Unfortunately, each year worldwide, around 22 million infants are still missing out their basic vaccines. This means 1 out of every 5 children is not protected and according to recent estimates. More public awareness and intensified efforts from governments and immunization partners are required to close this deadly gap. “Close the immunization gap” theme is a call for action for all individuals, communities and governments. WHO is encouraging everyone to make sure that they and their family have received all the required vaccines.
For more information and inquiries, please contact:
Murat Hakan Öztürk
Immunization Week focal point
Vaccine Preventable Diseases and Immunization programme
WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean