World Immunization Week is from April 24 to April 30. With the slogan "vaccines bring us closer together", the WHO draws attention to vaccinations.
In the Netherlands everything is well organized. Thanks to the National Immunization Program, all children are entitled to the best possible protection against twelve different infectious diseases. As a result, the disease burden, such as measles, whooping cough, tetanus and meningococcus, is very low.
That is not the case everywhere. In less wealthy countries, vaccination coverage is still far behind. WHO is working with countries and partners to improve this.
In addition, there are diseases in tropical regions for which fully effective vaccines do not yet exist. These diseases still cause many victims every year. For example, 409,000 people died of malaria in 2019. For years, people have been working hard to develop a vaccine against this. Currently there is a vaccine that offers partial protection. A step in the right direction, but not the final solution yet.
In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic presents a new challenge. While rich countries are doing their best to use the available vaccines as fairly and efficiently as possible, most poor countries are still without COVID vaccines.
A global crisis requires a global approach. True reduction of he pandemic is only possible if everyone has access to COVID vaccines. Two-thirds of the COVID vaccines available are currently in hands of the ten richest countries. The COVAX program tries to change this.