Vaccines and immunization

Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective health interventions available, saving millions of people from illness, disability and death each year. Effective and safe vaccines, which protect against a number of serious diseases, are available and many promising new vaccines are being developed.

In the 21st century, every child has the right to live free from vaccine-preventable diseases, but these diseases still pose significant threats in the WHO European Region. Consequently, strengthening immunization remains vital.

WHO/Europe's work in the area of vaccines and immunization is guided by the European Vaccine Action Plan, an ambitious roadmap to ensure equitable and optimal protection of Europe's population from vaccine-preventable diseases. WHO/Europe works with Member States and partners to achieve the Plan's major goals, including:

  • strengthening and achieving financial sustainability of national immunization programmes
  • eliminating measles and rubella
  • maintaining the poliomyelitis-free status of the European Region.