is aimed at highlighting the importance of immunization
and filling the
remaining gaps left in global coverage.
- It is observed during
last week of April.
- This week, we look at ways in which
individuals can drive the vaccination progress.
About The World Immunization Week
World Immunization Week is observed on the last week of April every year to
highlight the importance of collective action, that is needed so that everybody
stays protected from diseases that are vaccine-preventable. This year's theme, 'Protected Together, VaccinesWork
', has a bigger role to
play than just to be repeated as a slogan. The purpose is to encourage people
to get themselves vaccinated and push the message of immunization to others.
For this to happen, the governments need to take
up the responsibility of investing in immunization campaigns. These measures need to be backed by the
government's strong determination to prevent infectious diseases.
‘Immunization is essential, as routine vaccinations are building blocks of active primary care and global health coverage. Immunization offers every child the chance at a healthy life right from the start.
No single preventive measure has been more
cost-effective than immunization
. These vaccines do a lot more than
just prevent suffering and deaths associated with infectious diseases. They
also help in enabling national priorities, such as education and economic development in
every country they are properly implemented.
Vaccinations are important because
- Infectious diseases can occur even
when adequate levels of hygiene, sanitation, and clean water are
- If we do not
maintain any optimum rate of immunization, infectious diseases like pertussis,
polio and measles that have been successfully kept under
control, could emerge once again.
Are Vaccines Safe?
Licensed vaccines are absolutely safe as they
are vigorously tested clinically before they are officially out in the market. Most of the
side effects like
a sore arm
or a mild fever
generally produce an
immune response similar to the one produced by the natural infection, but they
do not cause the diseases, nor do they put the immunized person
at risk of potential complications.
They are safe for children. Ideally, at the time of birth children are
sensitized to diseases early on,
to prevent them from infectious diseases such as polio later on in life.
Children can also be given two more vaccines at
the same time or a combination of vaccines such as diphtheria, pertussis and
tetanus vaccine - DTP3.
Let's look at some facts to understand where we
all stand and how much work needs to be done to get on the road to 100%
- Global immunization cover has been
stalled by 86% without any
progess over the previous years.
- Nearly 19.5 million infants have
been missing out on essential vaccines worldwide.
- In 2016, an estimated 116.5 million
infants less than one received three doses of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis
- In 2016, another 19.5 million
children did not receive this DTP3 vaccine. Almost sixty percent of these
children were from underdeveloped or developing countries such Angola,
Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia,
Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa.
- Intense immunization efforts save
nearly 2 to 3 million lives every year from infectious diseases such as
diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), and measles. An
additional 1.5 million lives could be saved,
if global vaccination coverage improves.
- Immunization helped the African
population cope with Meningitis A; the
vaccine is now being integrated into their routine national immunization
- New vaccine has been developed
against dengue virus; it is going to
pilot in three African countries in this year.
- Measles deaths have decreased by
eighty-four percent from nearly 550,000 deaths in 2000 to 89,780 in 2016.
Accelerated and intense immunization efforts have had a major impact in
reducing measles deaths.
- Neonatal and maternal tetanus have
been eliminated from WHO south-east Asia region in 2016 by the Tetanus toxoid vaccine.
Vaccines are considered to be our front line of
defense against infectious diseases.Vaccination is an effective way to protect individuals from contracting infectious
Vaccines can also decrease the need for antibiotics, and thereby prevent
- Campaign Essentials For World Immunization Week 2018 - (http://www.who.int/campaigns/immunization-week/2018/campaign-essentials/en/)
- Immunization Coverage - (http://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/immunization-coverage)
- 10 Facts On Immunization - (http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/immunization/en/)