World Immunization Week: April 24-30, 2018

Posted on April 18th, 2018

Immunization saves millions of lives and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions. Yet, there are more than 19 million unvaccinated or under-vaccinated children in the world, putting them at serious risk of these potentially fatal diseases. Of these children, 1 out of 10 never receive any vaccinations, and most likely have never been seen by the health system.

World Immunization Week – celebrated in the last week of April – aims to highlight the collective action needed to ensure that every person is protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. Immunization prevents illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases including cervical cancer, diphtheria, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough), pneumonia, polio, rotavirus diarrhea, rubella, and tetanus.  For example, the measles vaccination has resulted in an 84% drop in measles deaths between 2000 and 2016 worldwide. Additionally, polio cases have decreased by over 99% since 1988.  Today, only three countries (Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan) remain polio-endemic, down from more than 125 in 1988.

When people ensure that their families and communities are protected with vaccines, we are all protected together.

Visit our immunization pages to find out what vaccines are offered at your local health department: children, adults and travel.

To learn more about World Immunization Week, visit the World Health Organization website.