World Immunization Week rolled out in 180 countries

23 APRIL 2012 | GENEVA – For the first time, public health communities in all regions of the world are focussing at the same time on the importance of vaccination against deadly diseases. The World Health Organization’s World Immunization Week is being held from 21 to 28 April 2012 with activities in more than 180 countries. The theme of the week, ‘Protect your world–Get vaccinated’, aims to reinforce the importance of immunization and encourage people everywhere to vaccinate themselves and their children against serious diseases. It is also a time to recall that—in this rapidly globalizing world—disease outbreaks can affect communities everywhere.

Immunization is estimated to prevent between two and three million deaths each year from diseases like diphtheria, measles, mumps, tetanus, rubella and whooping cough. Vaccines are considered one of public health’s ‘best buys’. It is also a significant contributor to the Millennium Development Goals, particularly MDG 4—a two-thirds reduction in child mortality by 2015 (compared to 1990).