World Immunization Week is celebrated each year during the last week of April and aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease.
In an article published by the UN News Center, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) progress towards global vaccination targets for 2015 is “far off track.” Approximately 20% of children do not currently receive routine immunizations, which could potentially prevent 1.5 million deaths annually from vaccine-preventable diseases.
This year World Immunization Week focuses on closing the immunization gap and reaching equity in immunization levels as outlined in the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP). The Global Vaccine Action Plan envisions a world where everyone lives life free from vaccine preventable diseases by 2020. It had set six targets for 2015:
Immunization against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough (DTP3)
- Target: 90% immunization coverage against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough by 2015.
- Gap: 65 countries
Introduction of under-utilized vaccines
- Target: At least 90 low or middle income countries to have introduced one or more under-utilized vaccines by 2015.ON TRACK
- Target: No new cases after 2014
- Gap: 3 countries remain polio endemic
Maternal and neonatal tetanus: Global elimination by end-2015
- Target: Eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus
- Gap: 24 countries
- Target: Eliminate from three WHO regions by end-2015
- Gap: 16% of all children are not being immunized against measles
- Target: Eliminate rubella from two WHO regions by end-2015
- Gap: Half of all children do not receive the rubella vaccine
Join us in honoring World Immunization Week and working toward a healthy local and global community!