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Immunization saves millions of lives in World

Kolkata, Dec 8 (UNI) Immunization saves millions of lives and is widely

recognized as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health

interventions.

Yet, there are more than 19 million unvaccinated or under-vaccinated

children in the world, putting them at serious risk of these potentially fatal

diseases.

Of these children, 1 out of 10 never receive any vaccinations, and most

likely have never been seen by the health system.

World Immunization Week – celebrated in the last week of April – aims to

highlight the collective action needed to ensure that every person is

protected from vaccine-preventable diseases..

To do so, governments must invest in immunization efforts, advocates

must make vaccines a priority, and people must get themselves and their

families vaccinated.

The goal of World Immunization Week 2018 is to urge greater action on

immunization around the world, with a particular focus on spotlighting the

role that everyone can play in this effort, from donors to individuals.

As part of the 2018 campaign, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and

partners aim to highlight the importance of immunization, and the remaining

gaps in global coverage, underscore the value of vaccines to target donor

countries and the importance of investing in immunization efforts and

highlight the ways in which everyone – from donors to individuals – can and

must drive vaccine progress.

Immunization prevents illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable

diseases including cervical cancer, diphtheria, hepatitis B, measles, mumps,

pertussis (whooping cough), pneumonia, polio, rotavirus diarrhoea, rubella

and tetanus.

Global vaccination coverage has stalled at 86 per cent, with no significant

changes during the past year. Uptake of new and underused vaccines is

increasing.

Immunization averts an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year from

diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), and measles; however, an

additional 1.5 million deaths could be avoided if global vaccination coverage

improves.

Global vaccination coverage – the proportion of the world’s children who

receive recommended vaccines – has stalled over the past few years.

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