Immunization may seem obvious in this day and age yet there are nearly 20 million children in the world today who are not getting the necessary vaccines. The role that vaccines play in every person’s life is significant because they save millions of lives every year through disease prevention. Vaccines are actually recognized as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions.
The World Immunization Week which is marked from 24th – 30th April every year, aims to promote vaccine use so as to protect people of all ages against preventable diseases. This year, 2020, the theme for the World Immunization Week is Vaccines work for all.
The campaign will focus on how vaccines and people who develop, deliver and receive them, are heroes by working to protect the health of everyone, everywhere.
Many countries, including low-and-middle-income ones have made significant strides in increasing immunization coverage; for instance, approximately 116 million children being vaccinated with 3-doses of the diphtheria tetanus-pertussis (DPT3) vaccine in 2018 alone.
The outbreaks of measles, diphtheria, pertussis and other vaccine-preventable diseases in the last two years only shows that there is more to be done. Countries must intensify their efforts towards ensuring that all people receive the lifesaving benefits of vaccines. On the other hand, countries that have achieved immunization goals, must work towards sustaining the progress they have made so far.
Objectives of 2020 WID Campaign
While the main goal of the campaign is to urge greater engagement around immunization globally and the importance of vaccination in improving health and wellbeing of everyone, everywhere throughout life, it also aims to:
- Show how routine immunization is the foundation for strong, resilient health systems and universal health coverage,
- Demonstrate the value of vaccines for the health of children, communities and the world, and
- Highlight the need to build on immunization progress while addressing gaps, including through increased investment in vaccines and immunization.
Immunization matters and therefore, expanding access to it is crucial to achieve the sustainable development goals, reduce poverty and promote universal health coverage.