European Immunization Week: 10th anniversary kicks off celebrating commitment to immunization


WHO expert Dr Mark Muscat speaking to the press following a conference on communication and immunization organized in conjunction with European Immunization Week, 17 April 2015

The 10th European Immunization Week (EIW) begins on 20 April 2015 with the launch of activities spread across the European Region's 53 Member States.

Country activities

Activities organized this week under the banner of EIW will vary greatly from country to country. In some areas supplementary immunization activities against diseases such as polio, rubella and measles will be conducted; while in others, awareness-raising campaigns will be launched, media engagement sought or EIW will be used as the backdrop for publication of a strategic document. Many of this year's activities will be featured on the EIW campaign forum to inspire and share best practices.

European Vaccine Action Plan (EVAP)

Much of the attention this year is focused on the European Vaccine Action Plan (EVAP) in light of the unprecedented commitment to prioritizing immunization that all Member States of the WHO European Region made in adopting this Plan in September 2014. EIW 2015 will be used as a vehicle to highlight this Action Plan, with the message that maintaining commitment is crucial at every level, be that political, professional or personal.

Engagement of Lions Clubs International 

This year for the first time, Lions Clubs International is teaming up with WHO to help disseminate the important message that immunization must remain a political and personal priority in order to prevent disease and protect life. Activities and two new infographics focus on reaching the European Region's elimination target for measles and rubella. 

Daily updates on the WHO/Europe website

In addition to the local and national events taking place across the Region, WHO/Europe will launch new resources for promoting immunization; and through a series of support statements focus on the importance of maintaining public awareness through initiatives like EIW.

EIW campaign forum and social media

Each day a new blog will be posted on the EIW campaign forum by stakeholders from a variety of countries and professions. Social media will be used more intensively to celebrate the 10th anniversary and draw extra attention to this year´s emphasis on commitment to immunization.

Tweets with the #EIW2015 hashtag will be posted in English through @WHO_Europe_VPI and @WHO_Europe and in Russian through @WHO_Europe_RU. Discussions can also be followed on the WHO Regional Office for Europe Facebook page.

World Immunization Week

As in previous years, EIW coincides with the celebration of immunization weeks in all WHO regions. This year World Immunization Week will take place 24-30 April, with the global theme "Close the immunization gap".