Each year, World Immunisation Week celebrates the millions of lives that have been saved by vaccines and immunisation. Thanks to immunisation programmes such as the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, more children are being protected from preventable diseases than ever before, and the world is so close to eradicating polio. Through UK support to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, 67.1 million children have been immunised against preventable disease. UK support to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative will immunise 45 million children against polio each year until 2020. But there is still more work to be done! In 2016, there were still 19 million unvaccinated or under-vaccinated children around the world. World Immunisation Week 2018 (24 – 30 April) is an important moment to urge greater action on immunisation and promote the use of vaccines to protect everyone, everywhere.
If we are to achieve the Global Goals and end extreme poverty by 2030, increasing access to immunisation is vital. As newly middle-income countries can lose eligibility for support from programmes such as Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, it is vital that the UK remains a global leader on immunisation. If funding stalls, and this transition from support is not planned for effectively, more lives will be lost to entirely preventable diseases. This year’s World Immunisation Week aims to urge greater action on immunisation around the world and promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages. This month, we are asking you to increase the public and political support for life-saving vaccines during World Immunisation Week by taking media action to demonstrate why vaccines work!