Vaccines Work

Did you know that immunisation prevents up to 3 million deaths every year worldwide?

2017 reported the highest number if immunisations ever, with over 115 million children being immunised that year. However, more efforts need to be taken in creating further sensitisation on the importance of immunisation because up to date, nearly 20 million children globally, are unvaccinated or under-vaccinated.

2019 Theme

Protected Together: Vaccines Work, is the theme for this year’s World Immunisation Week. The day is celebrated on the last week of April every year (24th – 30th). Its aim is to create awareness on the importance of vaccination and the need for getting timely vaccination against infections that are preventable through vaccines.

Immunisation matters because through vaccines, people of all ages are protected against diseases making it one of the most successful and cost-effective health intervention in the world. Immunization is one of the focus points to help in realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), poverty eradication and universal health coverage.

To find out what role you have to play in making immunization efforts a success in whichever capacity you fall, Click the here.

Most people know about the common vaccines such as those to prevent tetanus, whooping cough, chickenpox and polio. However, there are other very important vaccinations that most people either do not know about or tend to dismiss. The main one being HPV vaccine.

HPV vaccination

The human papilloma virus (HPV) is mostly sexually transmitted but not necessarily through penetrative sex. Some types of HPV such as those that cause warts can be transmitted through skin to skin contact with an infected person.

HPV vaccines are available for children from the age of 9 to 13 years. However, for people who did not receive the vaccine in those ages, can still get the vaccine at the ages of 26 years and below.

It is crucial that parents get their children vaccinated against HPV because some types of the virus can lead to cancers, for instance, types 16 and 18 can lead to cervical cancer in women, and oral cancer in men.

Vaccines for Women Before, During and After Pregnancy

Did you know that pregnant mothers also need to be vaccinated?

Pregnancy is a great time for most women, however, without certain vaccinations, it can be complicated, cause miscarriage or serious birth defects. These are the vaccinations that women need to get before, during and after pregnancy:

Before Pregnancy

  • Rubella
  • Hepatitis B

During Pregnancy

  • Whooping Cough
  • Flu shot

After Pregnancy

If you did not get the above vaccines; whooping cough, measles, mumps, chicken pox and rubella, before and during pregnancy, you can get them after giving birth.

Immunization is an important part of our lives; not just for children or mothers. When travelling to new places, we are often advised to get vaccinated for certain diseases such as yellow fever. Most countries have vaccination requirements that without them, you cannot be allowed to enter those countries.

On this World Immunization Week, share this information with as many people as possible and help the world in moving a step closer to making vaccines available worldwide and ensuring that more children receive timely vaccinations.

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