European Immunization Week 2015: Commitment to immunization
Immunization has saved more lives than any other public health intervention, yet 2013 saw 31 685 measles cases alone in Europe, an increase of 348% compared to 2007. The cost of these outbreaks in both human and monetary terms is extremely high. To move closer to WHO's vision of a European Region free of vaccine-preventable diseases, renewed commitment and innovative approaches are needed, as set out in the European Vaccine Action Plan 2015–2020 (EVAP).
The 10th European Immunization Week, on 20–25 April 2015, focuses on the need for renewed commitment to immunization at political, professional and personal levels. Communication and advocacy activities will celebrate progress achieved so far – particularly towards elimination of measles and rubella, maintaining the Region's polio-free status, and introduction of new vaccines – and focus on what immediate action needs to be taken to maintain momentum and achieve the Region's ambitious immunization goals. Examples of new policies and initiatives will illustrate innovative ways to address the key factors affecting immunization decisions: complacency, confidence, convenience and access.
World Immunization Week (WIW)
As in previous years, European Immunization Week 2015 will coincide with the global WIW campaign spearheaded by WHO headquarters. This year's campaign focuses on closing the immunization gap and reaching equity in immunization levels as outlined in the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) ― the global framework upon which EVAP is based.