What is World Immunization Week?
In 1988, more than 125 countries suffered from polio but, today, the number has come down to only two (Pakistan & Afghanistan).
Yes, you read that right. That’s a positive statistic for a change. Here’s one more – In 2014, 85% of the world’s children received one dose of measles vaccine by their first birthday and 115 million infants worldwide received the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DPT) vaccine.
Every year from April 24-30, the World Health Organization (WHO) observes World Immunization Week to further this cause. Thanks to the WHO and its initiatives to create awareness about vaccination, there is a huge positive change across the globe.
The World Immunization Week aims to spread awareness about the importance of immunization and promote the use of vaccines. Immunization is the world’s most successful and cost-effective health program. It helps save millions and millions of lives.
The 2016 theme for World Immunization Week is ‘Close the Immunization Gap’. This year’s campaign focuses on various issues and road blocks that stop us from achieving 100% immunization. The Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP), which is supported by many countries, hopes to close the immunization gap worldwide by 2020.
What can I do to contribute?
Well, to begin with, you can spread awareness. Talk about the importance of immunization within your community. In spite of widespread publicity and advertising, there are still people who ignore the need for vaccinations. The underprivileged are even more vulnerable. As educated, socially aware citizens, we must talk to such groups in our vicinity and ensure that they get their children vaccinated.
Think you know everything about immunization? Learn more by taking this quiz.
Staying well informed and updated is the key to good preventive healthcare. You can also read this infographic by WHO that highlights what the Immunization Week is all about.