World Immunization Week 2015 runs from April 24 through April 30, and the Partnership for Influenza Vaccine Introduction (PIVI) is proud to support and contribute to its mission to close the immunization gap and provide health equity for all when it comes to vaccine-preventable diseases.
Vaccines are one of the greatest advances in the history of public health. As the World Health Organization (WHO) points out, immunization “prevents between 2 and 3 million deaths every year and now protects children not only against diseases for which vaccines have been available for many years, such as diphtheria, tetanus, polio and measles, but also against diseases such as pneumonia and rotavirus diarrhoea, 2 of the biggest killers of children under 5.” While such progress is a major accomplishment, improved health afforded by vaccines still evades 1 in 5 of the world’s children. The WHO estimates that in 2013, “21.8 million infants [worldwide] did not receive lifesaving vaccines.”
World Immunization Week, an effort coordinated by WHO, is driven by the 2012 Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP), which provides a framework for improving access to vaccines worldwide by 2020. The goal of the GVAP is ultimately to avoid millions of deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases. This is a big task given that the inequity in vaccine coverage globally is due to a number of barriers, including “inadequate supply of vaccines, lack of access to health services, a shortage of accurate information about immunization, and insufficient political and financial support.” The WHO has taken the lead in breaking down these barriers; for example, last year’s World Immunization Week, with the theme of “Know, Check, and Protect,” worked to combat the shortage of accurate information available by debuting an app that provides more and better information about vaccines, from the diseases they prevent to the vaccination schedules for different countries. Fortunately, the WHO’s work is supported and supplemented by a number of organizations that promote vaccine uptake. PIVI is among those organizations, as it facilitates the acquisition and administration of influenza vaccines in its low- and middle-income partner countries.
2015’s theme for World Immunization Week is “Close the Immunization Gap.” The focus is on making sure that everyone has the opportunity to be protected from a number of diseases. The infographic above provides a snapshot into the current inequity in immunizations worldwide and highlights the 2015 GVAP goals associated with a number of vaccine-preventable diseases.
To learn more about World Immunization Week, click on the infographic above or the banner below.
Images and quotes from World Health Organization, World Immunization Week 2015: Close the immunization gap