When people need advice about topics like health or careers, the first place they often look is the internet. The same is true when parents and caregivers are seeking credible information about whether vaccines are safe for their children.
WHO’s Vaccine Safety Net — a global network of vaccine safety websites — provides access to accurate and trustworthy information about vaccines.
Today, the network has 47 member websites in 12 languages. It is estimated that more than 173 million users every month access VSN websites.
In 2015, world leaders agreed to a new development plan—a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and expanding access to immunisation is crucial to achieving the SDGs. Not only do vaccinations prevent the suffering and death associated with infectious diseases, they also help enable national priorities like education and economic development to take hold.
IImportant progress have been made towards the Global Vaccine Action Plan, endorsed at the World Health Assembly in 2012, including more children being immunized worldwide, more countries are introducing new or underused vaccine, new vaccine against dengue has been licensed in several countries, and the first vaccine to protect children against malaria will be piloted in three African countries in 2018.
Yet major challenges remain.
Yellow fever outbreak ends in Angola and Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo declared the end of the yellow fever outbreak following a similar announcement in Angola on 23 December 2016, bringing an end to the outbreak in both countries after no new confirmed cases were reported from both countries for the past 6 months.
“We are able to declare the end of one of the largest and most challenging yellow fever outbreak in recent years through the strong and coordinated response by national authorities, local health workers and partners,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Regional Director for Africa.
In a revised position paper on tetanus toxoid (TT) vaccines published in today’s edition of the Weekly Epidemiological Record, WHO provided updated guidance on vaccination schedules for primary and booster vaccine doses, according to age and population group.
All children worldwide should be immunized against tetanus. Every country should seek to achieve early and timely infant vaccination. Other tetanus prevention efforts are also needed including individual and community education on clean wound care and the importance of following standard surgical protocols in accordance with WHO guidelines.