Immunization saves millions of lives and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions.
Today, there are still 19.4 million unvaccinated and under-vaccinated children in the world.
2017 marks the halfway point in the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) – endorsed by 194 Member States of the World Health Assembly in May 2012 – which aims to prevent millions of deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases by 2020 through universal access to immunization.
Despite improvements in individual countries and a strong global rate of new vaccine introduction, all of the targets for disease eliminationa—including measles, rubella, and maternal and neonatal tetanus—are behind schedule. In order for everyone, everywhere to survive and thrive, countries must make more concerted efforts to reach GVAP goals by 2020. Additionally, those countries that have achieved or made forward progress towards achieving the goals must work to sustain those efforts over time.
The 7th African Vaccination Week was celebrated from 24 to 30 April 2017 with the theme “Vaccines protect everyone, get vaccinated!”
It also marked the 1st anniversary of the Ministerial Conference on Immunization in Africa resulted in a first-ever Addis Declaration on Immunization (ADI) signed by Ministers of Health or Heads of Delegation which includes 10 commitments and 4 calls to action and endorsed by head of states on 31st January 2017.
It also coincides with the halfway point of Regional Immunization Strategic Plan (RISP) endorsed by 47 Member States in 2014 – which aims to prevent millions of deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases by 2020 through universal access to immunization.
Find out more about immunization and the work of the World Health Organisation here>>