World Immunization Week is celebrated every last week of April each year. This weeklong event aims to promote the use of vaccines in order to protect us, humans, from various kinds of diseases. There are different kinds of vaccine-preventable diseases in our world. While we have been successful in making ourselves immune from these diseases due to vaccination, there are still some people who don’t get these vaccine shots primarily due to lack of access or lack of information. Hence, World Immunization Week aims to solve these problems by expanding the coverage of immunization as well as informing the people regarding the facts about it.
About the World Immunization Week
During World Immunization Week, various health governing bodies, agencies, organizations, and people involved in it celebrate by conducting all sorts of activities to disseminate information about the facts related to vaccines. This can fight the myths and misinformation about this key health tool and thus, save lives.
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Facts about vaccines
The following are the key facts about vaccines:
- The safest way to protect against disease is vaccination – getting vaccinated against various diseases is 100 percent safe. Numerous researches, scientific studies, and clinical trials have demonstrated that vaccines do not harm our bodies. They do the exact opposite by protecting us whenever infectious disease enters our bodies. They fight those infections so that we can stay healthy and disease-free.
- Even when you are at low risk of getting a disease, it is always best to be vaccinated – polio is one of the deadly diseases that wreaked havoc in the world that was totally killed by vaccination. Before, a lot of people either get killed or became disabled because of the poliovirus. When a vaccine against it was invented, the rate of the infection quickly went down. It became an extremely effective measure against the disease. However, even if the rate of infection is now nil, you still want yourself to be vaccinated against the disease. These viruses still linger in our environment and you want yourself to be protected against them. Hence, you must get all the vaccines that you can get in order to protect yourself from catching these diseases.
- Multiple vaccine shots are not harmful – some people get scared by the fact that we need to take different vaccines for protection against different diseases. Most of these vaccines are given all at the same time. There is no harm to thus contrary to what some people may think. Getting vaccinated multiple times is 100 percent safe.
- Vaccination is not linked with autism – there are people who campaign against vaccines and one of their prime argument is that it increases the risk of autism. However, there is NO scientific evidence that supports this. There was actually one study that proposed this back in 1998. It was later on found to be seriously flawed and got retracted form the journal in which it was published.
- Eliminating vaccination will resurrect deadly diseases – there is another important fact that we must take into account. If a lot of people stop getting vaccines, the deadly diseases that have been feared before will make a return. Recently, there have been reports of a resurgence of poliovirus due to people failing to get vaccine shots. If this continues on, an outbreak is possible. And it is not only probably for this disease, there are hundreds or more of infectious diseases that could substantially spread of people altogether stop getting vaccinated.
It was in May 2012 when the celebration of World Immunization Week was first endorsed by the World Health Assembly. There were some countries having this celebration beforehand but there were held in different dates. Hence, the World Health Assembly thought of making an international celebration in a specific date. The date of the last week of April was chosen. The first-ever celebration was participated by more than 180 countries all around the world.
Themes of the World Immunization Week
- Theme for 2020: “Vaccines Work for All”
- Theme for 2019: “Protected Together: Vaccines Work!”
- Theme for 2018: “Protected Together”
- Theme for 2017: “Vaccines Work”
- Theme for 2015-2016: “Close the immunization gap”
- Theme for 2014: “Are you up-to-date?”
- Theme for 2013: “Protect your world – get vaccinated”
- Theme for 2012: “Immunization saves lives”
As mentioned earlier, World Immunization Week is celebrated every last week of April each year. This means that the upcoming celebration of this week will be held from April 19 to 25.
The following are the main reasons why you should participate in the celebration of the World Immunization Week:
To Fight Misinformation
One of the key goals of World Immunization Week is to fight misinformation. This problem does not only root in people not knowing the facts about vaccination but also in people who spread it. If you celebrate this week, there will be lots of opportunities for you to tell people what vaccination really is.
To Protect Yourself and the People
If you help spread the word about the facts of vaccination, you are helping the world. You are preventing people from catching infectious diseases and in turn, you are preventing yourself and other people from getting infected.
Celebration Ideas and Activities
The following are the best things to do to make your celebration of the World Immunization Week as best as it can be:
Inform People About Vaccine Facts
One good idea to celebrate this week is to inform people about the vaccine facts. The five key facts given above are so important to be known. Hence, it would be ideal if you can familiarize yourself with these facts and tell people you know about them. You can start with your friends and family.
Get Vaccine Shots
If you still haven’t gotten important vaccine shots, then this week will be the most ideal time to get them. For sure, health experts will be conducting mass vaccinations so that people can get themselves protected from deadly diseases. Don’t miss this chance to save your live and save those of others.
Campaign on Social Media
And of course, if you want to spread the word about vaccination, there is no better place to do it right now than social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Let people know about the celebration using the hashtag #WorldImmunizationWeek and with that, you can also share information about the facts about vaccination.
- “Vaccines are the tugboats of preventive health.” — William Foege
- “Vaccines save lives; fear endangers them. It’s a simple message parents need to keep hearing.” —Jeffrey Kluger
- “In 1736 I lost one of my sons, a fine boy of four years old, by the small-pox, taken in the common way. I long regretted bitterly, and still regret that I had not given it to him by inoculation. This I mention for the sake of parents who omit that operation, on the supposition that they should never forgive themselves if a child died under it; my example showing that the regret may be the same either way, and that, therefore, the safer should be chosen.” — Benjamin Franklin
- “Everybody who’s a physician, who makes vaccines, who wants to find the cure for cancer. Everybody who wants to do any medical good for humankind got the passion for that before he or she was 10.” — Bill Nye
- “Humans have always used our intelligence and creativity to improve our existence. After all, we invented the wheel, discovered how to make fire, invented the printing press and found a vaccine for polio.” — Naveen Jain
- “I don’t think there is any philosophy that suggests having polio is a good thing.” — Bill Gates
- “The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more.” — Jonas Salk
- I’m old enough to remember when the polio vaccine was still new. Also, it hadn’t been that long since most people who caught pneumonia died from it. These medical breakthroughs were practically miracles.” — Pat Cadigan
- “Imagine the action of a vaccine not just in terms of how it affects a single body, but also in terms of how it affects the collective body of a community.” — Eula Biss
- “The return on investment in global health is tremendous, and the biggest bang for the buck comes from vaccines. Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective health investments in history.” — Seth Berkley