World Immunization Week – celebrated in the last week of April – aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. 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.
Vaccines prevented at least 10 million deaths between 2010 and 2015, and many millions more lives were protected from illness. The global push to end polio has reached its final stages, with just 3 remaining countries still working to eradicate this debilitating disease. The ambitious Global Vaccine Action Plan to reach everyone with vaccines by 2020 started strong but is falling behind. WHO challenges all health leaders to make immunization one of the biggest success stories of modern medicine.