European Immunization Week 2005




From 17-23 October 2005, WHO/Europe and a number of Member States across the Region launched the first European Immunization Week (EIW) – an annual initiative to raise awareness, improve communication and advocate immunization across the WHO European Region.

EIW was born out of a concern that immunization is becoming less valued due to a decline in the incidence of, and reduced fear of infectious disease. As a consequence coverage rates have begun to decline or stagnate in many countries across the WHO European Region, often resulting in large, sporadic disease outbreaks. Although average coverage rates are high, they vary greatly between and within Member States, with vulnerable groups existing all over the Region. Furthermore, in several countries, public confidence is being threatened by media scares and groups / individuals opposed to immunization. Immunization often suffers from low political commitment due to competing health priorities.

The goal of the initiative is to increase vaccination coverage by drawing attention to and increasing awareness of the importance of every child’s need and right to be protected from vaccine preventable diseases. European Immunization Week targets parents and caregivers, health care professionals and policy makers. A special focus is placed on activities targeting vulnerable groups.