10 facts on immunization

Updated April 2017

There is arguably no single preventive health intervention more cost-effective than immunization. Every year, immunization averts 2 to 3 million deaths from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), and measles.

Expanding access to immunization is crucial to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Not only do vaccinations prevent the suffering and death associated with infectious diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhoea, whooping cough, measles, and polio, they also help enable national priorities like education and economic development to take hold.

The unique value of vaccines was the driving force behind the Global Vaccine Action Plan, a framework to prevent millions of deaths by vaccine-preventable diseases by 2020. The plan aims to strengthen routine immunization; accelerate control of vaccine-preventable diseases with polio eradication as the first milestone; introduce new vaccines and spur research and development for the next generation of vaccines and technologies.

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