World Immunization Week is observed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the last week of April (24 to 30 April). The week highlights the role of vaccines to protect people and communities from diseases.
This special week also aims to draw attention to the collective measures and actions that are needed to combat vaccine hesitancy.
During this week, WHO works with countries to raise awareness of the value of vaccines and immunisation. The organisation also ensures that governments get all necessary guidance and technical support in order to implement high quality immunisation programmes.
This year the theme for World Immunization Week is ‘Long Life for All’. The purpose of this theme is to highlight how vaccines make it possible for people to protect loved ones and live a long, healthy life.
World Immunization Week is supported by WHO and multiple leading partners that include UNICEF, Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation among others.
Significance of World Immunisation Week amid Covid-19:
Immunization saves millions of lives every year. Despite the success of various vaccination programmes across the globe, nearly 20 million children around the world miss out on life-saving vaccines every year, according to UNICEF.
The WHO remains focused on vaccinating people against the novel coronavirus as well as ensuring equitable distribution of vaccines around the world. The global body also aims to ensure that other immunisation programmes do not fall to the wayside in the pandemic.
For people, vaccinating against COVID-19 remains of utmost importance to ensure that the transmission and effects of the disease remain muted.
Furthermore, World Immunisation Week also aims to highlight how vaccination programmes against diseases such as measles continue to be important all over the globe.