For more than two centuries, vaccines have helped keep people healthy—from the very first vaccine developed to protect against smallpox to the newest vaccines used to prevent severe cases of COVID-19.
In the past 20 years, the measles vaccine is estimated to have averted more than 30 million deaths globally.
And even as the COVID-19 pandemic raged, progress was made that expanded protection against rubella and congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), the leading cause of vaccine-preventable birth defects.
For years, families and communities have entrusted vaccines to protect their loved ones. But the value of vaccines is measured by more than the number of doses given.
Each April, World Immunization Week brings together people from around the world to highlight the importance of vaccines and how they protect people of all ages against many diseases, giving us the opportunity to pursue a life well-lived. This year’s campaign comes at an especially critical time as the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted essential health services, including routine immunization, setting back progress by more than a decade. Unfortunately, millions of people are still missing out on the life-saving benefits of vaccines, making it urgent to catch up and reach those who have been missed.
The 2022 theme “Long Life for All” aims to unify people around the idea that vaccines make it possible for us to follow our dreams, protect our loved ones and live a long, healthy life.
World Immunization Week is supported by the World Health Organization and a wide range of partners, including Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and many more.
Getting involved in this important event is simple as resources and toolkits, have been created by the Measles & Rubella Initiative partners and other vaccination stakeholders. Information and materials can be found on the following sites WHO, UNICEF, Gavi, [email protected], IVAC, Every Breath Counts and the US CDC. Remember to continue to check the microsite throughout the week as additional content is added.