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 countries of the Region have set 2015 as the target for measles elimination but this goal can only be achieved with the strong commitment of every country to increase measles vaccination coverage to at least 90% and to promote a high level of awareness in all communities about the threat of the disease and the benefits of vaccination.
In 2011, around 2.5 million children in the Region missed their first routine dose of the measles although safe, effective and inexpensive vaccines are readily available. Measles continues to be one of the leading causes of child mortality around the world, accounting for about 158 000 deaths globally each year.
WHO encourages individuals and organizations working at international, regional, national, and community levels, in the public and private sectors and civil society, to coordinate and engage in activities during Vaccination Week.