What is World Immunization Week?


What is World Immunization Week?

Did you know that even today almost 7% of people1 around the world disagree with the fact that vaccines are safe? As a result, most of the individuals don't consider taking vaccinations. However, the issue stems largely from a lack of education and awareness regarding vaccines. This is why World Immunization Week is observed. Its goal is to inform the public about the reasons that vaccinations are essential for the health of millions of people worldwide. 

Generally, children and adults miss out on vital vaccinations for a variety of reasons, which eventually raises their risk of catching diseases, including smallpox, measles, and polio. However, with the introduction of the world immunization theme, more and more people are getting a better understanding of the importance of immunization. 

What is World Immunization Week? 

Each year, World Immunization Week is celebrated towards the last week of April. Organised by the World Health Organization (WHO), the goal is to raise awareness and encourage vaccination as a means of preventing potential illnesses in people of all ages.

In other words, this event, which runs from April 24 to April 30, highlights the vital role of vaccinations. Additionally, this global program emphasises the need for coordinated action to increase vaccine coverage and fight deadly diseases that can be prevented by vaccination. 

In a nutshell, World Immunization Week is all about saving lives by uniting communities, governments, and medical professionals from all over the world.

World Immunization Week History

The World Health Assembly established the World Immunization Week in 2012 and observed it in more than 180 nations. Immunization Week was formerly held around the world at different times. However, today, it is observed at the same time globally. The history and origins of the event can be traced back to Edward Jenner's vaccine invention in the 18th century. 

Even while vaccination had advanced significantly in Asia and Africa, it remained extremely risky in the day. It wasn't until the end of the 18th century that vaccination gained significant traction in England as a means of preventing smallpox. 

While awaiting her appointment with the physician, a patient made a thought-provoking remark. She said that since she had cowpox, she could not catch smallpox. Edward Jenner, a young medical student, paid keen attention to her comment. As he finished his studies in London, he became fixated on this concept.

After graduation, he began practising medicine in his homeland, Gloucestershire. Here, he eventually came to the conclusion that the woman was correct. In the process of finding a smallpox cure, he discovered that cowpox patients were less likely to catch smallpox. Following this, he tried a little experiment. He administered a mild dosage of cowpox to patients to protect them from the terrible smallpox outbreak.

Later, more advancements were made when Jenner carried out yet another test in 1798. A mild strain of smallpox was administered to four kids who had received cowpox vaccinations in order to protect them from the illness. Here, he had his theory confirmed when none of them actually contracted smallpox. With this, he made a groundbreaking discovery of vaccination, which will continue to be crucial to researchers besides preventing life-threatening diseases.

Objectives of the World Immunization Week 

The World Immunization Day is beyond a mere ‘yearly event’. It is an important campaign against diseases that can be prevented by vaccination. Major objectives include: 

  1. To Increase Immunization Programs by helping nations improve their infrastructure and immunization programs.
  2. To Increase Knowledge by promoting awareness of the significance of vaccinations.
  3. To Encouragement Innovation and Research by advancing the creation of fresh and enhanced vaccinations.
  4. To Encourage Vaccine Coverage by promoting vaccination uptake to protect more individuals and groups.
  5. Compliance with the Goals of Sustainable Development: The project is in line with a number of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including:
  • SDG 3: Well-being and Good Health: Vaccination is one of the most economical means of avoiding illness. It saves 2-3 million lives annually.
  • SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals: Promotes international collaboration and partnership to help low-income nations in developing and distributing vaccines. 

Why Participating in Immunization Week is Crucial? 

There are various reasons why you should participate in World Immunization Week. Every step you take moves the world one step closer to a future in which every person, everywhere, has access to life-saving immunizations. The reasons include:

  • Generally, viruses are responsible for the spread of numerous diseases in humans, animals, plants, and trees. This day honours the development of vaccinations and scientific efforts to stop the spread of viruses inside the body and cause illnesses.
  • Most diseases like the poliovirus and smallpox have been successfully eradicated in countries with vaccinations. This week creates an awareness about the advantages of immunization to prevent life-threatening diseases.
  • Many people avoid getting vaccinated because they are afraid of the potential negative effects and lack the necessary knowledge and information. However, there are a number of lectures held over the week that increase public understanding of the short- and long-term advantages of various vaccines.

How to Observe World Immunization Week? 

You can celebrate World Immunization Week by:

  • Learning about the History of Vaccinations: Visit your neighbourhood or surf the web to find out more about the various illnesses that have afflicted mankind throughout history. Look up their responses to the pandemics as well.
  • Raising Money to Support Vaccination Campaigns: Collaborate with different non-profit institutions that immunize kids worldwide against illnesses like measles and chickenpox. You can help by contributing funds to the research and development of vaccinations. 
  • Boosting Your Immune System: Individuals with compromised immune systems are more susceptible to viral infections. In addition to getting a vaccination, boosting your immunity is yet another strategy to ward off serious diseases.

Do Health Insurance Companies Cover  Immunization/Vaccination? 

Many people have misunderstandings regarding vaccines. They are under the impression that vaccines may cause autism, they may impair immunity, or contain dangerous toxins. This negates the idea of getting vaccinated. As a result, individuals are more likely to catch serious diseases that may be life-threatening. Not only does it impact their health but their financial state as well. 

Constant treatments, check-ups, and doctor visits can be heavy on pocket. Even a single hospitalisation can drain one’s lifetime savings at one go. This is when the health insurance policy comes in. Comprehensive health policies of Care Health insurance offer coverage for emergency and planned hospitalisation for covered illnesses including various life-threatening conditions. These policies can be customised as per the individual’s needs and budget. 

In Conclusion 

To sum up, World Immunization Week indicates fair access to global health while promoting vaccinations, increasing awareness, and saving lives. The week encourages you to celebrate the importance of vaccinations as a healthier alternative and to support, campaign, take part, and work together. All in all, the event combats inequalities, raises awareness of vaccine-preventable diseases and encourages immunisation on a global scale.

>> Also Read: Vaccines and the Diseases they Prevent

Disclaimers: The above information is for reference purposes only. Kindly consult your general physician for verified medical advice. The health insurance benefits are subject to policy terms and conditions. Refer to your policy documents for more information.

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