World Immunisation Week, 24-30 April 2022

The World Health Organization recognises World Immunisation week each year during the last week of April.  World Immunisation Week focuses on the combined effort and action required to promote the use of vaccines to help protect people of all ages against all types of diseases. 

The theme for 2022 is ‘Long life for all’.  It is aimed towards getting people and communities to collectively understand that vaccines make it possible for all people to do whatever it is we would want to do in life, to protect those we love and for all of us to be able to live a long, healthy life. 

Vaccines have been one of the most effective scientific innovations in history, over 200 years of research, worldwide collaboration and rigorous testing have led to the development of safe and effective vaccines for more than 25 diseases.  

Today, because of vaccines parents of young children are able to live with less stress of their children suffering from preventable diseases that had previously devastated generations.  Over the past 20 years, more than 1.1 billion children were immunised, saving 4-5 million lives each year and helping to reduce child deaths by half.  Routine vaccinations for diseases like measles, diarrheal diseases and pneumonia are allowing children to have healthier, enjoyable childhoods.  In adulthood, vaccinations against flu or cervical cancer allow people to remain healthy in order to work, travel and live fulfilling lives within society. 

The past two years have shown us all the devastating and unpredictable impacts disease outbreaks can have on communities and the world.  Vaccines developed to help protect against diseases like COVID-19, Ebola and Cholera have given most the opportunity to protect themselves and their loved ones.  

Despite this, not everyone around the world has access to vaccines, there are people still dying from preventable diseases because of the lack of access to vaccines.  In 2020 approximately 23 million children missed out on the routine vaccinations – the highest number since 2009. It is therefore recognised globally that catch-up vaccination campaigns are so important to allow everyone access to vaccinations in order to have the opportunity to live a Long, Healthy life.  

Adapted from:

25 April 2022

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470