European Immunization Week 2017 promotes a life-course approach to immunization

EIW 2017: 24-30 April

European Immunization Week (EIW) provides an opportunity each year in April for countries and individuals to promote the importance and public health benefits of vaccines. Since its inception in 2005, EIW has grown to become a region-wide event including hundreds of initiatives that raise awareness from city parks to parliaments and online from individual social media accounts to the evening news. The initiative’s aim is to help maintain public demand and political support for immunization through advocacy and targeted communication and educational activities.

Global theme: Vaccines work

The WHO European Region continues to enjoy overall high childhood immunization coverage and is progressing towards the goals of the European Vaccine Action Plan, including elimination of measles and rubella. However, pockets of susceptibility remain, leading each year to preventable suffering and even deaths.

Many adolescents, adults and individuals at particular risk are not sufficiently aware of the diseases that threaten their health and the vaccinations they need to ensure continuing protection. Susceptibility to vaccine-preventable diseases among health care workers is of particular concern as it can lead to the spread of infection among patients.

In conjunction with other regional initiatives and World Immunization Week, the European Region will utilize EIW 2017 as an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of immunization at every stage in life. This campaign emphasizes the important role of immunization in regional and global efforts to promote health throughout the life course, as emphasized in the European Vaccine Action Plan, the European health policy Health 2020, the Global Vaccine Action Plan and the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.