Torbay’s Public Health Team is supporting World Immunisation Week 2015 and its theme of “Close the immunisation gap”.

World Immunisation Week – celebrated in the last week of April (24-30) aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease.

Vaccination affects us all and World Health Organisation (WHO) is calling on everyone from policy-makers and health professionals to community-based initiatives and the private sector, to raise awareness about the importance of immunisation and mobilize their collective resources and creativity to close the immunisation gap.

By keeping deadly and mutilating communicable diseases in check, vaccines are — and will remain essential to maintaining and expanding health gains. Vaccines are an important tool in tackling future outbreaks and epidemics.

The gap between the 1 in 5 children who still do not receive basic life-saving vaccines, as well as to the gaps in progress towards the targets set by the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP). The GVAP envisions a world where everyone lives life free from vaccine preventable diseases - whoever they are, wherever they live - by 2020.

According to the most recent WHO estimate, 1.5 million children die every year of diseases that could be readily prevented by vaccines that already exist. In 2013, nearly 22 million infants missed out on the essential diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine (DTP3), many of them living in the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities.

The slogan to be used on global materials is "Close the immunisation gap – vaccination for all."

Closing the gap

There are three steps to closing the immunisation gap:

  1. Integrate immunisation with other health services
  2. Strengthen health systems to improve vaccine delivery to reach every last child
  3. Ensure vaccines are both accessible and affordable to all.

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