World Immunization Week

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Today marks the start of World Immunization Week 2012--an initiative coordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO) that aims to unite countries across the globe for a week of vaccination campaigns, public education, and information sharing.

This week, WHO is working with countries across the globe to raise awareness of the real value of vaccination, as well as helping to ensure that governments obtain the necessary guidance and technical support to implement high-quality immunization programs. Vaccines play a major role in preventing diseases and it's because of vaccinations that at least 3 million deaths are prevented and 750,000 children are saved from disability every single year.

World Immunization Week is important, as it helps:

  • Raise awareness of how immunization saves lives
  • Increase vaccination coverage to prevent disease outbreaks
  • Reach underserved and marginalised communities―particularly those living in remote areas, deprived urban settings, fragile states and strife-torn regions―with existing and newly available vaccines
  • Reinforce the medium and long-term benefits of immunization, giving children a chance to grow up healthily, go to school and improve their life prospects

These objectives tie in well with our mission to help people do more, feel better, and live longer. In fact, here in the US, we even have a Vaccines Access Programthat provides GSK vaccines to adult applicants who meet eligibility requirements

To mark the occasion of World Immunization Week, over the next few days we'll shine the spotlight on a few vaccine preventable diseases.

Image courtesy of WHO.