The global campaign theme for 2015 is “Close the immunization gap.” Unfortunately, each year worldwide, around 22 million infants are estimated to be missing out their basic vaccines; 3 million of them in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. This means 1 out of every 5 children is not protected. More public awareness and intensified efforts from governments and immunization partners are required to close this deadly gap. The “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.
In parallel to the global theme, Member States in the Region will be selecting their national themes for the 2015 World Immunization Week according to national context and priorities.
Countries in the Region are observing World Immunization Week each year by various activities; including national launching ceremonies, media campaigns, training, seminars and social mobilization events. During the week, many countries will be expanding their vaccination services, such as tracking unvaccinated people, extending operational hours, implementing large-scale vaccination campaigns and using child health days as a platform through which to deliver an integrated package of life-saving health interventions. In addition, some of the countries are planning to launch the introduction of new vaccines to their national programmes during 2015 World Immunization Week.
Member States in the Region have been observing this important event since 2010 as a regional initiative, under the name “Vaccination Week in the Eastern Mediterranean Region” simultaneously with other WHO regions such as the Region for the Americas and the European Region. Success of regional initiatives and dedication of Member States have paved the way towards the global initiative.
The World Health Assembly endorsed World Immunization Week in 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 existing 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.
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
Previous years campaigns