30 April 2012 – Coinciding with the first World Immunization Week, the WHO Regional Office held a ceremony to launch the third Vaccination Week in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region on 23 April in Sana'a, Yemen.
The ceremony was held under the patronage of the President of Yemen with the participation of the Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health and Population. A number of other dignitaries, diplomats, officials, partners and celebrities attended the launch.
Vaccination Week in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region started on 24 April and ended on 30 April 2012. All 23 countries of the Region participated in this year's Vaccination Week, which was held under the theme of “reaching every community”. The initiative aims at increasing awareness and vaccine utilization, mobilizing resources and securing strong political support for immunization programmes.
A variety of activities are being carried out during Vaccination Week, including workshops, seminars, media campaigns, celebrations and social mobilization. In addition, countries are expanding their vaccination services to the most marginalized populations by tracking unvaccinated people, extending their operational hours, implementing large-scale vaccination campaigns and leveraging Child Health Days to deliver an integrated package of life-saving health interventions.
'This event can be leveraged to bridge immunization gaps, introduce and expand the use of new vaccines, prevent and respond to vaccine-preventable diseases in outbreaks and humanitarian crises, and achieve regional and national goals for accelerated disease control, elimination and eradication,' said Dr Abdulla Assa’edi, WHO Deputy Regional Director, during his delivery of the WHO Regional Director's message.