World Immunization Week 2013, celebrated April 20 – 27

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World Immunization Week, beginning on 20 April, aims to promote one of the world’s most powerful tools for health – the use of vaccines to protect, or “immunize“, people of all ages against disease.

Under the global slogan “Protect your world – get vaccinated“, WHO encourages individuals and organizations working at international, regional, national, and community levels, in the public and private sectors, to coordinate and engage in activities during World Immunization Week.

World Immunization Week – beginning on 20 April – aims to promote one of the world’s most powerful tools for health – the use of vaccines to protect, or “immunize”, people of all ages against disease.

SONY DSCImmunization is one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions and prevents between 2 and 3 million deaths every year. From infants to senior citizens, immunization protects against diseases such as diphtheria, measles, pertussis (whooping cough), pneumonia, polio, rotavirus diarrhoea, rubella and tetanus.

The benefits of immunization are increasingly being extended to adolescents and adults, providing protection against life-threatening diseases such as influenza, meningitis, and cancers (cervical and liver cancers).

However, even now, an estimated 22 million infants are not fully immunized with routine vaccines, and more than 1.5 million children under 5 die from diseases that could be prevented by existing vaccines.

Goals: more awareness, access, and coverage

The ultimate goal of World Immunization Week is for more people – and their communities – to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Specifically, during the week, WHO and partners work to:

  • convince people that immunization saves lives;
  • mobilize action to increase vaccination coverage with existing and newly available vaccines in underserved and marginalized communities; and
  • reinforce political support for global immunization goals.

WHO logo WHO encourages individuals and organizations working at international, regional, national, and community levels, in the public and private sectors and civil society, to coordinate and engage in activities during World Immunization Week. Working from the global slogan, “Protect your world – get vaccinated”, participation can be tailored to regional and national public health priorities. Activities may include vaccination campaigns, training workshops, round-table discussions, public information campaigns, and more.

Immunization Week initiatives began in the Region of the Americas in 2003.

The Week was observed simultaneously in WHO’s six regions for the first time in 2012, with the participation of more than 180 countries, territories and areas.

World Immunization Week 2013
WHO’s work on immunization, vaccines and biologicals
Facts sheets about immunization
More about immunization

 

WHO begins a powerful tool for health

World Immunization Week, beginning on 20 April.

image_previewThe last week of April each year is marked by World Health Organization (WHO) and partners as World Immunization Week.

In 2013, more than 180 countries, territories and areas are expected to mark the week with activities including vaccination campaigns, training workshops, round-table discussions and public information campaigns.

The theme of World Immunization Week is “Protect your world – get vaccinated”. It aims to raise public awareness of how immunization saves lives, encouraging people everywhere to vaccinate themselves and their children against deadly diseases.

Immunization Week around the world

Immunization helps prevention of diseases.

Key facts

  • Immunization prevents illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases including diphtheria, measles, pertussis, pneumonia, polio, rotavirus diarrhoea, rubella and tetanus.
  • Global vaccination coverage is holding steady.
  • Immunization currently averts an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year.
  • But an estimated 22 million infants worldwide are still missing out on basic vaccines.

Immunization and adequate nutrition can prevent many types of pneumonia

In 2013, WHO and UNICEF launched the integrated Global action plan for pneumonia and diarrhoea (GAPPD). The aim is to accelerate pneumonia control with a combination of interventions to protect, prevent, and treat pneumonia in children with actions to:

  • protect children from pneumonia include promoting exclusive breastfeeding and adequate complementary feeding;
  • prevent pneumonia with vaccinations, hand washing with soap, reducing household air pollution, HIV prevention and cotrimoxazole prophylaxis for HIV-infected and exposed children;
  • treat pneumonia which are focused on making sure that every sick child has access to the right kind of care — either from a community-based health worker, or in a health facility if the disease is severe — and can get the antibiotics and oxygen they need to get well.  Read More >>

Details of the Immunization week
 

Campaign essentials

World Immunization Week 2013: Protect your world – get vaccinated

Origins the campaign, public health context

Origins of the campaign

World-Health-OrganizationGlobal-Vaccine-Action-PlanImmunization Week initiatives began in the WHO Region of the Americas in 2003. The Week was observed simultaneously in WHO’s six regions for the first time in 2012, with the participation of more than 180 countries, territories and areas worldwide.

The World Health Assembly endorsed World Immunization Week during its May 2012 meeting, alongside the Global Vaccine Action Plan. World Immunization Week – which takes place during the last week in April every year – gives countries and our partners around the world a focused opportunity to raise public awareness of how immunization saves lives – during the same week, every year, in every country. Activities include vaccination campaigns, training workshops, round-table discussions, public information campaigns, and more.
 

Public health context

Original Title: FluVac25sRGBImmunization is one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions and prevents between two and three million deaths every year. Immunization protects against diseases such as diphtheria, measles, pertussis (whooping cough), pneumonia, polio, rotavirus diarrhoea, rubella and tetanus.

The benefits of immunization are increasingly being extended from children to adolescents and adults, providing protection against life-threatening diseases such as influenza, meningitis, and cancers (cervical and liver cancers).

The Global Vaccine Action Plan is a roadmap to prevent millions of deaths by 2020 through more equitable access to existing vaccines for people in all communities. It was endorsed by all WHO Member States at the World Health Assembly in May 2012.

Goals of the Global Vaccine Action Plan

  • Strengthen routine immunization to meet vaccination coverage targets.
  • Accelerate control of vaccine-preventable diseases with polio eradication as the first milestone.
  • Introduce new and improved vaccines.
  • Spur research and development for the next generation of vaccines and technologies.

Goal

However, even now, around 22 million infants are not fully immunized with routine vaccines and more than 1.5 million children under five die from diseases that could be prevented by existing vaccines.

The overall goal of World Immunization Week is for more people to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.
 

Objectives

  1. Convince people that immunization saves lives;
  1. mobilize action to increase vaccination coverage

with existing and newly available vaccines in under served and marginalized communities;

  1. secure political will to increase support for

immunization programmes.
 

Target audiences

  • Parents of children requiring vaccination
  • Unvaccinated adults
  • Public health agencies
  • Non-health sector government bodies
  • Health worker associations
  • Community leaders
  • Civil society groups

 

Slogan

The global “theme” of the campaign every year is to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. The global slogan of this year’s campaign is “Protect your world – get vaccinated“.

Different countries and regions may select different slogans as appropriate to regional, national and local initiatives and goals.

WHO works closely with organizations involved in immunization across the world. Experience has shown the value of partnership across sectors and country borders in increasing access to vaccines.
 
Take Action blueThere are many ways to get involved in World Immunization Week.
 

Ministries of health
  • Organize vaccination campaigns.
  • Distribute posters and leaflets about vaccination to health centres.
Journalists
  • Write articles about vaccination coverage in your country and what more needs to be done.
International organizations
  • Join forces to inform your constituents about global vaccination goals.
Community leaders
  • Organize discussion groups with local populations about available vaccines, their benefits and risks.
Everyone
  • Get fully vaccinated: Check with your local health worker whether you are up-to-date with recommended vaccines. If not, make an appointment to get fully vaccinated.
  • Join in local activities: Find out what activities are going on in your local area during vaccination week.

WHO on Social media

Look out for the hashtag #GetVax and get World Immunization Week tweets and Re-tweet!
 
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Submitted by Meetika Srivastava

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