Key messages

European Immunization Week (EIW) 2019 aims to raise awareness about the importance of vaccination – a message to be carried across the European Region through the slogan Prevent. Protect. Immunize. The week will also be used as an opportunity to celebrate everyday vaccine heroes – the individuals who contribute to protecting lives through vaccination in so many ways – including researchers who develop safe and effective vaccines, policy-makers who make sure every child has equitable access to vaccines, health professionals who administer vaccines, parents who choose vaccination for their children, as well as everyone who seeks out and shares evidence-based information about vaccines.

Vaccine heroes

  • Policy-makers create the medical, educational and social systems needed to ensure equitable access to vaccines.
  • Health professionals are a trusted source of information about vaccines for their patients. Raising awareness about vaccines saves lives.
  • Every parent plays a vital role in protecting their children and others by choosing to vaccinate. Every child deserves to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.
  • Vaccine researchers have saved millions of lives by developing safe and effective vaccines. Ongoing innovation will expand this protection to more diseases in the future.
  • By sharing the facts about vaccines, everyone can help raise awareness about immunization being a life-saving tool.
  • By working to ensure that every child receives the vaccines they deserve we can create a future without vaccine-preventable diseases.

Get the facts

  • Vaccination prevents disease, protects life and is a strong foundation for life-long health and well-being.
  • Vaccination against contagious diseases protects not only the person vaccinated, but also those around them.
  • Thanks to vaccination, polio has been reduced by 99% since 1988. Together we can end polio.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination can prevent up to 90% of cervical cancer cases.
  • The HPV vaccine combined with regular screening is the most effective tool for preventing cervical cancer.
  • Measles is one of the world’s most contagious diseases. Unvaccinated young children have the highest risk of getting measles and its complications, including death.
  • Rubella infection in pregnant women may cause fetal death or congenital defects. Vaccination against rubella during childhood protects a person for life.
  • The hepB vaccine is 95% effective in preventing infection and the development of chronic disease and liver cancer caused by hepatitis B.
  • Combined vaccines, such as the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP) vaccine, reduce the number of clinic visits and injections needed, thereby reducing the discomfort experienced by a child.