Meningitis Now staff member Andy Hopkinson

Raising awareness of the value of vaccines for World Immunisation Week

Andy Hopkinson | 27th April 2022

This week, 24 to 30 April, is World Immunisation Week

Meningitis Now support World Immunization Week

World Immunisation Week, celebrated in the last week of April every year, aims to highlight the collective action needed and to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease.

It’s an initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and one we’re happy to support – we know only too well the protection vaccination provides against meningitis.

WHO is working with countries across the globe to raise awareness of the value of vaccines and immunisation and ensure that governments obtain the necessary guidance and technical support to implement high-quality immunisation programmes. The ultimate goal of World Immunization Week is for more people – and their communities – to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Two centuries of research and development

For more than two centuries, vaccines have helped keep people healthy - from the very first developed to protect against smallpox to the newest vaccines used to prevent severe cases of COVID-19. It was back in 1796 that this first vaccine was developed and since then the world has seen their unparalleled impact on health and wellbeing. 

Over 200 years of research, worldwide collaboration and rigorous testing has led to the development of safe and effective vaccines for more than 25 diseases.

Families and communities have entrusted vaccines to protect their loved ones. 

But the value of vaccines is measured by more than the number of doses given. Vaccines provide everyone with a chance at a fulfilling life.

Highlight importance

Each April, World Immunisation Week brings together people from around the world to highlight the importance of vaccines and how they protect people of all ages against many diseases, giving us the opportunity to pursue a life well-lived. 

This year’s campaign comes at an especially critical time as the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted essential health services, including routine immunisation, setting back progress by more than a decade. Unfortunately, millions of people are still missing out on the lifesaving benefits of vaccines, making it urgent to catch up and reach those who have been missed.

The 2022 theme “Long Life for All” aims to unify people around the idea that vaccines make it possible for us to follow our dreams, protect our loved ones and live a long, healthy life.

World Immunisation Week is supported by the World Health Organization and a wide range of partners, including Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and many more. 

So, why not use the week to check if you and your loved ones are up to date with your meningitis vaccines and, if not, making the arrangements to get those you need.