Vaccination Week in the Americas Fact Sheet — 2013
VWA 2013 Slogan: “Vaccination: A Shared Responsibility”
WIW Slogan: “Protect your world – get vaccinated.”
Vaccination Week in the Americas
Originally launched in 2003, Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA) is an annual hemispheric event, endorsed by the Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization. VWA was initially proposed in 2002 by the Ministers of Health in the Andean Region following a measles outbreak in Venezuela and Colombia. From 2003 to 2012, as a result of activities conducted under the framework of VWA, more than 411 million people of a variety of ages have been vaccinated against a wide variety of diseases. Country and territory participation in VWA is flexible and goals and activities for the initiative are chosen in accordance with national health objectives. While some countries conduct large scale vaccination campaigns, others focus exclusively on communication initiatives and health promotion efforts. Many countries also use VWA as a platform for the integration of other preventative interventions with vaccination. Annual region-wide and national multi-lingual VWA media campaigns also serve to publicize the initiative and the importance of vaccination to the general public. Each year, many VWA launching events are organized; such events have received increasing political priority and have counted on the attendance of presidents, first ladies, ministers of health, and leaders of international organizations.
For more information on Vaccination Week in the Americas, please visit: www.paho.org/vwa
Overarching Goal of VWA
To promote equity and access to immunization and cooperation between countries
This year the countries and territories of the Americas will celebrate the 11th Anniversary of Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA) with the Regional slogan of: “Vaccination: a shared responsibility.” This celebration will be from 20 to 27 April 2013 and will coincide with the 2nd celebration of World Immunization Week (WIW), a global initiative endorsed by the World Health Assembly in May of 2012. Multiple VWA launching events and celebrations with high political visibility are being planned, including a Regional Launching event at the Belize-Guatemala-Mexico border on 20 April 2013.
In April 2013, the Regions of the world will come together to celebrate the second annual World Immunization Week under the global slogan of “Protect your world. Get vaccinated”.
Achievement of World Immunization Week
The success of Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA) has served as a model for other Regions of the WHO in the implementation of successful sister initiatives. 2012 marked a milestone as the globe celebrated the first World Immunization Week (WIW), later endorsed with resolution at the World Health Assembly. WIW is a platform to improve vaccination coverage worldwide and reach underserved and marginalized communities, and an opportunity to once again combine efforts and highlight the importance of immunization in saving lives across the globe.
In 2005, the European Region (EURO) of WHO launched European Immunization Week (EIW). In 2013, the eighth annual EIW is promoting the core message that immunization of every child is vital to prevent diseases and protect life. The slogan is, “Prevent. Protect. Immunize.” All 53 countries in EURO will participate.
In 2010, the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMRO) of the WHO launched their first Vaccination Week (VWEM) with the participation of 100% of their Member States. The 4th VWEM will be celebrated this year under the theme, “Stop measles now!” 23 EMRO countries will participate. A Regional launching ceremony will take place in Cairo, to coincide with the country’s rollout of pentavalent vaccine. Kivanc Tatlitug, a Turkish celebrity will be participating in the launch event.
A delegation from the African Region (AFRO) of the WHO visited the Americas in 2010 to learn more about the planning and execution of VWA. Following this visit, AFRO launched the first annual African Vaccination Week (AVW) in 2011. The 3rd AVW will be celebrated this year under the theme, “Prevent disabilities, vaccinate!” 45 AFRO countries will participate. Uganda will be introducing pneumococcal vaccine (PCV) and measles second does (MCV2) during African Vaccination Week.
In 2011, the Western Pacific Region (WPRO) also launched the First Vaccination Week in the Western Pacific on April 25 to coincide with the opening of a meeting for all representatives and focal points of WPRO countries in Manila. The Region’s inaugural initiative highlighted the importance and cost- effectiveness of immunization to prevent disease, disability and death for the individual, family and community. This year they will celebrate under the theme, “Finish the job―No more measles for anyone.”
In September 2011, the countries of South-East Asia (SEARO) endorsed a resolution confirming their commitment to implement an annual regional immunization week. SEARO launched the first Vaccination Week in April, 2012. This year, SEARO will focus on the intensification of routine immunization.