Every year in the last week of April, World Immunization Week is celebrated to raise awareness and increase rates of immunization through vaccines against preventable diseases. Immunization can protect from 25 different diseases from infancy to old age. According to WHO estimates, active immunization prevents 2-3 million deaths every year.
The goal of World Immunization Week [WIW] is to spread public awareness on how immunization saves lives and supports people to get the immunization they require. WIW is one of the 8 official campaigns taken up by the World Health Organisation.
India has been a leader in vaccine preventable diseases by providing vaccines free of cost through the Universal Immunization Programme since 1985.
Around the world vaccine hesitancy is growing as a problem. Misinformation needs to be dealt with a firm hand and all parents encouraged to give vaccine protection to their children. It is most important that we convey facts, clarify misconceptions and establish trust for the future of our citizens. This entails governments investing in programmes clearly communicating to the public the value and benefits of new and existing vaccines. Doctors too play a crucial role in encouraging parents to come forward with their young ones.