23 Oct 2016


Closing the immunization gap

                            Closing the immunization gap

World immunization week, an all over the week programme executed every year, globally has it’s primary objective endorsed in the aim of making the globe truly immunized. The word * TRULY* derives it’s existence from the fact that there occurs a big difference today, in the apparent world immunisation rate and the one which practically exists. This year, the WHO worked on bridging this difference by launching the programme on 23rd April, 2016
World Immunisation Week basically is a global public health campaign to raise awareness and increase immunisation rates against Vaccine Preventable Diseases. It aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against all kinds of diseases. As it is known, apt immunisation is known to save millions of lives and thus is rightly recognised as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions.

Previously, immunisation weeks were observed in different countries at different times of the year. Starting from 2012, a need for uniformity was observed. There after, every year the WHO comes up with variant  themes. Here are some of the recent ones-

  • -         2012 - Immunisation saves lives
  • -         2013- Protect your world- get vaccinated

  • -         2014- Are you up to date?
  • -         2015-16 – Close the immunisation gap

The year 2015 and 2016 had the same themes implied and turned out to be quite effective.

Immunisation can protect against various types of infectious agents and diseases including diphtheria ,measles, pertussis, polio, tuberculosis, tetanus, etc. Globally, around 2-3 million lives are saved, according to the WHO and this can truly be attributed to Immunisation! However this number is just the tip of the iceberg! There still exists a dying population of around 23 million, which failed to be immunised and thus payed the worthy price. This inadequate immunisation coverage rate is majorly due to limited resources, competing health priorities, poor management of health systems and inadequate surveillance. The World Health Organisation, thus thrives to educate the general population , as to how immunisation saves lives; and to support people everywhere to get the vaccinations needed against these deadly diseases! This motive is well served by the World Immunisation week.

Most of the vaccines used for immunisation are given to the child within the first five years of life, except for certain vaccines such as tetanus, rabies; which are given after the exposure to the infectious agent. The ones given after the 5 year mark are called BOOSTERS. Boosters can be compared to the reserve fuels of a motor vehicle. When the primary fuel expires, the reserve keeps the motor going, so do boosters; when the effect of primary vaccines is terminated, boosters keep the immunity going!

Immunisation has a major role in preventing numerous diseases and protecting life. To exploit such a wonderful potential it harbours, the World Immunisation Week is a powerful weapon for it’s reinforcement. With better social acceptance, vaccine preventable diseases can be completely eradicated, thanks to this programme!