World Immunisation Week
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The Global Vaccine Action Plan, endorsed by the World Health Assembly, is a framework designed to prevent millions of deaths by the year 2020 by providing better access to vaccines. It aims to strengthen routine immunisations to meet existing targets, accelerate control of preventable diseases, introduce improved vaccines and spur on research and development for the next generation of vaccines.
Around 1 in 5 children worldwide are still missing out on routine immunisations for preventable diseases. It is through campaigns such as the Global Vaccine Action Plan and World Immunisation Week that bodies such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) are attempting to address this regrettable situation.
What is World Immunisation Week?
World Immunisation Week is held in the last week of April each year. Its aim is to promote immunisation and its role as one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions in the world. It is a week for celebrating the gains in immunisation coverage and also encouraging greater global efforts to meet vaccination targets.
The week consists of conferences, forums, seminars and workshops by government bodies and organisations, as well as a huge range of local events by communities and individuals to get the message out there.
How can you get involved?
While World Immunisation Week is an important time for organisations and other official bodies to meet and exchange information and ideas, everyone is encouraged to get involved at a grassroots level as well. You can do this in a number of ways including:
- Download, print and disperse WHO immunisation campaign materials such as posters and infographics.
- Get your local community involved and organise events targeting the media, businesses, schools and other institutions.
- Share a personal story regarding immunisation with your online social networks or the local media.
- Contact local political representatives and ask them for their support during World Immunisation Week.
- Write an opinion piece or blog on immunisation and post it on a public website.
- Organise an event such as a luncheon, dinner party or trivia night to raise awareness for World Immunisation Week.
- Join WHO social media campaigns using the hashtag #vaccineswork.
- Go door to door or have a stall at a public venue and hand out brochures and information regarding immunisation.
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