Join the Global Movement: World Immunization Week

World Immunization Week
24 Apr 2024
8 mins
Table Of Content
Join the Global Movement: World Immunization Week

    Catch up! Restore and strengthen routine immunization. World immunization week is celebrated every year on the last week of April (April 24 – April 30) to raise awareness and highlight the importance of vaccines and immunizations worldwide under the theme 'Humanly Possible'. WHO is collaborating with partners to accelerate quick progress in nations to get back on track and protect more people, particularly children, from preventable diseases. In this world of immunization week, let's understand the importance of vaccines and immunization.


    World Immunization Week 2024 Theme


    This year's World Immunisation Week theme is "Humanly Possible." The World Health Organisation is partnering with its partners to accelerate progress in getting nations back on track so that more people, particularly children, are protected against preventable diseases. World Immunisation Week aims to protect more children, adults, and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases, helping them to live happier, healthier lives.


    History Of World Immunization Week 


    The World Health Assembly approved World Immunisation Week in May 2012. The first World Immunisation Week was held in 2012, with over 180 countries participating globally. Before 2012, the scheduling of Immunisation Week events varied across the globe. The goal of this week is to identify obstacles to vaccine access and overcome them for the benefit of the world population. People have realized that no one is fully immune unless everyone is disease-free.


    Importance Of World Immunization Week 


    In 2021, 25 million children missed at least one routine vaccine, and 18 million received no vaccines at all. Immunization is an important component of primary health care and one of the best investments you can make to help make the world a healthier and safer place. We now have vaccines to prevent more than 20 deadly diseases, allowing individuals of all ages to live longer, healthier lives.


    What Are Vaccines And Immunization?


    Vaccines are weakened or destroyed forms of pathogens such as bacteria or viruses. There are different kinds of vaccines – live-attenuated, toxoid, inactivated, subunit, mRNA, and viral vector vaccines based on how and which part of the pathogen is used in preparation. They are given mostly by injections; sometimes they can be given orally or by spraying through the nose. Immunization is the process by which the body gets immunity to a particular disease via vaccination. Some vaccines offer life-long or prolonged immunity, while some need booster shots when the immunity starts to wane. 


    How Vaccines Work


    Once the pathogen enters our body, our immune system produces substances called antibodies to fight against the disease. The immune system has the quality to remember this disease as well as the process of fighting it. Vaccines also imitate this process but in a harmless way and help prevent infectious diseases. They provide antibodies in response to dead or weakened microbes and offer immunity without the disease.


    According to the (WHO) World Health Organization, immunization currently prevents 3.5 to 5 million deaths from diseases like tetanus and diphtheria every year. Currently, there are vaccines for more than 20 life-threatening disorders such as malaria, cholera, rabies, pneumonia, polio, rabies, rubella, mumps, meningitis, pertussis, and yellow fever. 


    Vaccines Are Safe


    Many people still fear getting vaccinations due to various reasons. It usually takes many years to develop a vaccine, and it must go through a large number of trials and tests before a vaccine comes into the market. Once the vaccine is introduced, national and international surveillance centers continuously monitor for any adverse effects to ensure the vaccine's safety. Most vaccine-preventable diseases are highly contagious and cause severe complications. So, it is important to remember that vaccine-preventable disease is far worse than the fear of vaccines and vaccine side effects. Severe side effects are rare. Mild side effects such as injection site reaction and fever may occur, but it usually goes away soon. 


    Though vaccines are safe, some categories of people are not recommended to get vaccines. People undergoing cancer treatment may have a weak immune system, and certain vaccines may initiate infection. People with chronic illnesses or life-threatening allergies and young babies may not be suitable for getting vaccines. Vaccination protects not only us but also the loved ones surrounding us. When an adequate number of individuals are vaccinated, the transmission of disease slows down or stops, and this is called herd immunity. 


    Immunization Programme In India


    Through a universal immunization program, the Government of India offers vaccines to infants, pregnant women, and children. Vaccines offered include,


    BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine), HPV vaccines, OPV (oral polio vaccine), Hepatitis B vaccine, Pentavalent vaccines, Rotavirus vaccine, PCV (pneumococcal vaccine), fIPV (Fractional Inactivated Poliomyelitis Vaccine), Measles/MR vaccine, JE vaccine (Japanese encephalitis), DPT booster (Diphtheria, Tetanus, & Pertussis), and Tetanus and adult diphtheria (Td) vaccine. Different vaccines are given at different ages. Go through the national immunization schedule for children, infants, and pregnant women vaccine-wise. Vaccines are available at both government and private hospitals. They are available free of cost for vaccine-preventable diseases at government hospitals. 


    Vaccination - Your Best Defense


    Get vaccinated, and Stay disease-free! Vaccinations ensure a long life for all. If you need to travel to a country where a particular disease is more common, you need to check with your doctor to be vaccinated against that disease. A healthcare professional can clarify all your doubts regarding vaccines and suggest suitable vaccines for you and your family. In this world of immunization week 2024, let's create awareness about immunization in our community.

    Written by
    Dr VijayalakshmiMedical Content Writer
    AboutDr. Vijayalakshmi is a Medical Content Writer at MrMed. She completed her Bachelor of Dentistry (BDS) from Sri Ramakrishna Dental College, Coimbatore, in 2022, where she expertise in dental and clinical research. During her internship, she has also worked on various research projects and presented scientific papers in national UG seminars. Post her UG, she has upskilled in pharmacovigilance regulations and clinical trial methodology through certification courses. She is proficient in researching, writing, editing, and proofreading medical content and blogs.
    Tags :vaccinesVaccination Immunization World immunization week 2024