World Immunization Week – celebrated in the last week of April (24 to 30 April) – aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. Immunization saves millions of lives every year and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions.
- At all ages, vaccines save lives and keep us safe
Vaccines protect our children across communities and countries and prevent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. Responding to outbreak after outbreak is expensive, ineffective and costs lives. The only sustainable response is prevention ─ by ensuring that everyone is vaccinated, at the right time, with the right vaccines through the course of their lives.
- While most children today are being vaccinated, far too many are left behind
Unacceptably, it’s often those who are most at risk – the poorest, the most marginalized, those touched by conflict or forced from their homes – who are persistently missed. If these children do get sick, they are at risk of the severest health consequences, and least likely to access lifesaving treatment and care.
- Everyone can be a vaccine champion
Talk to people about the benefits of vaccines. Vaccines save lives, help children learn and grow and prevent serious illness and disability.
Know the facts about vaccines
- Vaccines defend us against deadly diseases. They do this by working with our body’s natural defenses to stop us from getting sick. It is a safe and clever way to produce a protective response, helping to keep us healthy, safe and strong.
- Two key reasons to get vaccinated are to protect ourselves and to protect those around us. Not everyone can be vaccinated ─ including infants who are too young to be vaccinated, older people who are at risk of serious diseases and those who are seriously ill. They depend on others getting vaccinated to ensure they are also protected through vaccines.
- All the ingredients in a vaccine help ensure they are safe and effective for you and your family. Vaccine ingredients can look unfamiliar when listed on a label but they occur naturally in the human body, the natural environment and the foods we eat.
- It is important to get the vaccines you need – on time, every time. Don’t wait until you are exposed to a serious illness – like during an outbreak. There may not be enough time to receive all the vaccine doses needed to keep you safe from the disease.