Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

World Immunization Week 2012

Key messages

Protect your world ― get vaccinated

  • Disease outbreaks are common threats to communities and countries in this inter-connected world.
  • Most of the world is polio-free as we move towards eradication; this is a critical time when the virus can travel easily from its remaining zones of transmission and paralyze unvaccinated populations. In 2011, some 300 people were paralyzed in 12 countries where polio is not endemic.
  • Verify your immunization status and those of your family members. If unsure, content your health professional/GP/health worker and vaccination before travel to and attendance at mass gatherings keeps vaccine-preventable diseases from being either exported to or imported from other countries.

Immunization saves lives

  • Immunization prevents debilitating illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases.
  • Vaccines have the power not only to save but also to transform lives ― giving children a chance to grow up healthy, go to school and improve their life prospects.
  • The Decade of Vaccines ― a new plan currently being developed by WHO and partners ― promotes the importance of immunization across the life course and ensures the universal right of all people to the full benefits of immunization, regardless of where they are born, who they are or where they live.