Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

Immunization highlights: 2012


UN/David Ohana

Key public health milestones were reached in 2012, including the 100 millionth person protected from epidemic meningitis by the new conjugate vaccine, MenAfriVac and the same vaccine has been approved to travel outside the cold chain. MenAfriVac can now be kept in a controlled temperature chain at temperatures of up to 40°C for up to four days. This is an extraordinary achievement just two years after the vaccine was launched in Burkina Faso.

WHO Member States endorsed a landmark Global Vaccine Action Plan, a roadmap to prevent millions of deaths by 2020 through more equitable access to existing vaccines for people in all communities. Resolutions on the Global Vaccine Action Plan and World Immunization Week were adopted.

More than 180 countries across the globe were united for a week of vaccination campaigns, public education and information sharing in the first-ever World Immunization Week. The demand for new vaccines continues with countries introducing vaccines against human papillomavirus, meningococcal A epidemics, pneumococcal disease and rotavirus.

A selection of the most notable immunization achievements and events of 2012 is featured here, together with data based on the latest WHO/UNICEF global estimates for 2011.