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World Immunization Week 2014 begins Thursday

The World Immunization Week campaign kicks off next Thursday, April 24 and continues through April 30 with the World Health Organization noting this year’s theme is “Are you up-to-date?”.

Image/WHO

Image/WHO

According to WHO, immunization is widely recognized as one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions ever introduced. It prevents between 2 and 3 million deaths every year and now protects children not only against diseases for which vaccines have been available for many years, such as diphtheria, tetanus, polio and measles, but also against diseases such as pneumonia and rotavirus diarrhoea, two of the biggest killers of children under 5. Furthermore, adolescents and adults can now be protected against life-threatening diseases such as influenza, meningitis, and cancers (cervical and liver cancers), thanks to new and sophisticated vaccines.

The success can be illustrated with the contagious, respiratory disease, measles. Measles vaccination resulted in a 78% drop in measles deaths between 2000 and 2012 worldwide. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

Despite this success, 1 in 5 children are still missing out. In 2012 an estimated 22.6 million infants were not reached with routine immunization services. More than half of these children live in just 3 countries: India, Indonesia and Nigeria.

Inadequate supply of vaccines, lack of access to health workers, and insufficient political and financial support account for a large proportion of people who start but don’t finish national immunization schedules. A lack of knowledge about vaccination, on the other hand, is one of the key reasons why adults consciously choose not to get vaccinated themselves or to vaccinate their children.

The overarching message of World Immunization Week 2014 is directed at the public: “By making sure that you and your family are up-to-date with the vaccines you need, you give yourselves the best chance of a healthy future.”

World Immunization Week 2014 events around the world

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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