Why is EIW important?
The widespread implementation of immunization programmes over the past 30 years has led to remarkable achievements. The WHO European Region has been polio free since 2002 and in the past decade measles cases in the Region have been reduced by more than 90%.
However, more needs to be done. Nearly 650 000 of the 10.7 million infants born each year in the European Region do not receive the complete three-dose series of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine by age one. Vulnerable populations exist in all countries and outbreaks of infectious diseases continue to spread in the Region.
By acknowledging that every child deserves a healthy start in life, countries can use the momentum of European Immunization Week to increase awareness of the importance of immunization and to strengthen their immunization systems.