World Immunization Week is a global public health campaign to raise awareness and increase rates of immunization against vaccine-preventable diseases around the world. It takes place each year during last week of April.
Immunization can protect against 25 different infectious agents or diseases, from infancy to old age, including diphtheria, measles, pertussis, polio and tetanus. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates active immunization currently averts 2 to 3 million deaths every year. However 22.6 million infants worldwide are still missing out on basic vaccines, mostly in developing countries. Inadequate immunization coverage rates often result from limited resources, competing health priorities, poor management of health systems and inadequate surveillance. The goal of World Immunization Week is to raise public awareness of how immunization saves lives, and support people everywhere to get the vaccinations needed against deadly diseases for themselves and their children.
World Immunization Week sprung out of the efforts taking place across different countries and regions for a week-long immunization awareness commemoration. World Immunization Week is one of eight official campaigns marked by the WHO, along with World Health Day, World Blood Donor Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Tuberculosis Day, World Malaria Day, World Hepatitis Day and World AIDS Day.