Aim: To raise awareness about importance of immunization throughout life
Key facts about immunization:
- Immunization prevents illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases including cervical cancer, diphtheria, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough), pneumonia, polio, rotavirus diarrhoea, rubella and tetanus.
- Global vaccination coverage is generally holding steady.
- Uptake of new and underused vaccines is increasing.
- Immunization currently averts an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year. An additional 1.5 million deaths could be avoided, however, if global vaccination coverage improves.
- An estimated 19.4 million infants worldwide are still missing out on basic vaccines.
Global Immunization coverage include
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) causes meningitis and pneumonia. Hib vaccine had been introduced in 191 countries by the end of 2015.
Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver. Hepatitis B vaccine for infants had been introduced nationwide in 185 countries by the end of 2015.
Human papillomavirus is the most common viral infection of the reproductive tract, and can cause cervical cancer, other types of cancer, and genital warts in both men and women. Human papillomavirus vaccine was introduced in 66 countries by the end of 2015
Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus, which usually results in a high fever and rash, and can lead to blindness, encephalitis or death. By the end of 2015, 85% of children had received 1 dose of measles vaccine by their second birthday
Meningitis A is an infection that can cause severe brain damage and is often deadly. By the end of 2015 – 5 years after its introduction – more than 235 million people in African countries affected by the disease had been vaccinated with MenAfriVac, a vaccine developed by WHO and PATH
Mumps is a highly contagious virus that causes painful swelling at the side of the face under the ears (the parotid glands), fever, headache and muscle aches. It can lead to viral meningitis. Mumps vaccine had been introduced nationwide in 121 countries by the end of 2015.
Pneumococcal diseases include pneumonia, meningitis and febrile bacteraemia, as well as otitis media, sinusitis and bronchitis. Pneumococcal vaccine had been introduced in 129 countries by the end of 2015, and global coverage was estimated at 37%.
Polio is a highly infectious viral disease that can cause irreversible paralysis. In 2015, 86% of infants around the world received 3 doses of polio vaccine. Targeted for global eradication, polio has been stopped in all countries except for 3: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. Polio-free countries have been infected by imported virus, and all countries – especially those experiencing conflict and instability – remain at risk until polio is fully eradicated.
Rotaviruses are the most common cause of severe diarrhoeal disease in young children throughout the world. Rotavirus vaccine was introduced in 84 countries by the end of 2015, and global coverage was estimated at 23%.
Rubella is a viral disease which is usually mild in children, but infection during early pregnancy may cause fetal death or congenital rubella syndrome, which can lead to defects of the brain, heart, eyes and ears. Rubella vaccine was introduced nationwide in 147 countries by the end of 2015 and global coverage was estimated at 46%.
Tetanus is caused by a bacterium which grows in the absence of oxygen, for example in dirty wounds or in the umbilical cord if it is not kept clean. The spores of C. tetani are present in the environment irrespective of geographical location. It produces a toxin which can cause serious complications or death. The vaccine to prevent maternal and neonatal tetanus had been introduced in 106 countries by the end of 2015. An estimated 83% of newborns were protected through immunization. Maternal and neonatal tetanus persist as public health problems in 19 countries, mainly in Africa and Asia.
Yellow fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. As of 2015, yellow fever vaccine had been introduced in routine infant immunization programmes in 35 of the 42 countries and territories at risk for yellow fever in Africa and the Americas.