World Immunization Week
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World Immunization Week History

World Immunization Week will take place on April 24-30, 2018. This year’s theme will be Protected Together, #VaccinesWork. The campaign will aim to raise awareness on the importance of immunizing everyone and creating herd immunity in order to eradicate certain diseases. Over the past century or so, the world has become significantly healthier. Age expectancy is higher than ever before. Immunization is partially the reason, preventing at least 25 different infectious diseases. World Immunization Day history, however, dates back only as far as 2012.

Importance of World Immunization Week

As surprising as it may be today, preventative health is a relatively new concept. People have been working on trying to prevent diseases for centuries. A vaccine against smallpox was first successfully introduced in 1796. Today, many regions are nearly free of dangerous illnesses such as measles, polio, and rubella. That said, more can still be done. For instance, promoting the importance of administering vaccines and to spread vaccination throughout the world. Even to those places where it is less affordable. That’s why the World Health Organization, along with partners, has celebrated World Immunization Week since 2012. Each year, they select a central theme to focus on. Below are some important topics from World Immunization Week history.

2017 #VaccinesWork

Last year, the central theme of World Immunization week focussed on the fact that vaccines are extremely effective in preventing diseases. Over the past 2 decades, there has been some public push to lower the use of vaccines which can lead to the lack of herd immunity. To curb this, the WHO is raising awareness on just how important it is to administer vaccines, particularly for the most dangerous diseases.

2016 Close the immunization gap

In 2016, 20% of children around the world were still missing the principle basic vaccinations. For a healthy world, it is essential to ensure that every child receives these. To help accomplish this the World Immunization Week focused on spurring on action to close this gap, particularly when it comes to polio, investment, and innovation.

2015 Global Vaccinations Targets Off-Track

The global goal for 90% national vaccination coverage in most countries was set for 2015. However, the target was not met. As such, vaccination week in 2015 focused on promoting stronger action and decisions to ensure that the gap does not remain. This was done to help save thousands of lives around the world.

World Immunization Week History

In 2012, the WHO, along with a number of global partners, established the last week of April as World Immunization Week. At this stage, 180 countries showed their support by simultaneously promoting vaccination-related activities on the same date. Since then, the global community picks a different theme each year. These have included:

  • 2012 Immunization Saves Lives
  • 2013 Protect Your World – Get Vaccinated
  • 2014 Are You Up-to-date?
  • 2015-16 Close the Immunization Gap
  • 2017 Vaccines Work
  • 2018 Protected Together #vaccineswork

However, World Immunization Week history goes further back than this initiative. Countries have been actively promoting immunization at different times in the year for decades. That’s because immunization saves millions of lives. Today, there is still space to grow immunization efforts around the world helping make sure that every child and adult has the vaccinations for a long and healthy life.

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