The World Immunization Week is being celebrated by the
World Health Organization from 24-30 April 2016 with the theme - Close the
- The World Immunization
Week is celebrated in the last week of April every year
theme for this year is the same as last year's - Close the Immunization
- Vaccination should be considered as the right and
responsibility of every individual
. The theme celebrates the success
achieved by immunization as well as aims to address issues that are yet to be
first ever vaccine developed by Edward Jenner for small pox way back in the 18th
century, immunization has come a long way in preventing vaccine-preventable
deaths and saving lives.
‘Awareness of vaccination can go a long way in reducing vaccine-preventable deaths and prolonging life.’
a procedure that is started right from birth. Childhood
have reduced mortality
from a wide variety of deadly infectious diseases like tuberculosis
, diphtheria, tetanus
. Thanks to vaccination, small pox
has disappeared from the surface of the earth, and
polio is on its way out!
The World Health Organization has played a major role
in ensuring that vaccination reaches throughout the world and hopes to achieve
the WHO Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) and the support of the 194 signatory
nations, in its Decade of Vaccines between 2011 and 2020, the WHO aims to
- Eradicate polio, and take steps towards elimination of measles,
German measles, and neonatal
and maternal tetanus among other diseases through vaccination. Polio has
already been eradicated in most countries, including Africa. India is free of
maternal and fetal tetanus, which is considered a huge achievement.
America is the first region to be free of German measles.
- Strengthen National Immunization Programmes so that they reach far and
wide in their respective countries. Nations have to consider immunization as
research to introduce new vaccines or improve existing vaccines. As newer
infectious diseases emerge, more research is required to develop vaccines that
will counteract these diseases. The quality of vaccines should be such that no
person should avoid taking a vaccine or giving it to their child because of
When we talk
about immunization, we usually imagine children being vaccinated. However, several vaccines are today available for
adults which are often underutilized
. The flu vaccine prevents respiratory
infection in older adults. The tetanus vaccine protects pregnant women. The
HPV vaccine is administered
to adolescent girls to protect them against cervical cancer
reached several interior locations of the world and is often provided free of
cost. However, there are still some people who do not have access to vaccines
or other health care services. It is particularly
important to reach these areas to ensure complete coverage.
Increasing awareness of the importance and the safety
of vaccination could play an important role in increasing coverage
- Immunization prevents 2-3 million
deaths every year in all age groups
- Every year over 1
million infants and young children die from pneumococcal disease and rotavirus diarrhea.
The deaths can be prevented through vaccination
mortality rate has declined by 74%, thanks to the
intensified vaccination programs!
. Awareness should be created at an individual level, community level
as well as at the government level. Individuals should be made aware that
getting vaccinated is their right as well as their responsibility towards
themselves as well as their society. Communities should involve themselves
actively to achieve complete immunization. Countries should make vaccination as
their priority. Adequate budget allotment should be made with the assumption
that by preventing serious diseases, vaccination can reduce the burden on the
health care systems.
In the World
Immunization Week, let us make sure that we and all our near and dear ones are
up-to-date with our vaccination.