World Immunization Week 2017: Why it matters now more than ever
This event announcement originally appeared on the World Health Organization website.
World Immunization Week – celebrated in the last week of April (24th-30th) – aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. Immunization saves millions of lives and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions. The theme this year: #VaccinesWork.
2017 marks the halfway point in the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) – endorsed by 194 Member States of the World Health Assembly in May 2012 – which aims to prevent millions of deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases by 2020 through universal access to immunization.
Despite improvements in individual countries and a strong global rate of new vaccine introduction, all of the targets for disease elimination—including measles, rubella, and maternal and neonatal tetanus—are behind schedule. In order for everyone, everywhere to survive and thrive, countries must make more concerted efforts to reach GVAP goals by 2020. Additionally, those countries that have achieved or made forward progress towards achieving the goals must work to sustain those efforts over time.