24-30 April 2020
World Immunization Week 2020
‘World Immunization Week’ is particularly relevant this year, as we all face the many challenges brought by the new infectious disease, COVID-19.
World Immunization Week aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease and resonates completely with our AJ Vaccines vision of a world free of serious diseases, across generations, life by life.
The Value of Vaccines
Immunisation saves millions of lives every year and is widely recognised as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions.*
Routine immunisations protect children from illness, disability and death and are available for many childhood diseases, including polio, tuberculosis, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis.
In 2018, one in 26 children died globally before reaching the age of 5, compared to one in 11 in 1990.** More than half of these early childhood deaths are preventable with simple, affordable interventions including immunisation, adequate nutrition, safe water and food.**
Yet, there are still nearly 20 million children in the world today who are not getting the vaccines they need.*
Working together to protect children and families from infectious diseases
We are committed to continuing our work globally with partners and healthcare professionals, and exploring new approaches and partnerships, to ensure children and families around the world have access to the recommended vaccines they need and deserve.
Thus, we were particularly happy to announce the WHO prequalification of our new inactivated polio vaccine this week, which will enable us to help meet the unmet global demand for inactivated polio vaccines to support the continuing efforts towards the global eradication of polio.
In addition to this and our work to develop a new vaccine to protect people from COVID-19, we are working closely with our partners around the world to understand how this global lockdown may affect changes in overall vaccine demand, and to ensure that we are able to anticipate and plan for these changes.
Our Logistics and Supply Chain teams are collaborating both with their colleagues across AJ Vaccines, and with our logistics partners, to ensure our vaccines reach the healthcare practitioners and those people, young and old, that need them. It is vital that during this COVID-19 pandemic we must continue to do everything we can, while ensuring the safety of our valuable teams, to help prevent a potential resurgence of vaccine preventable diseases and that we continue to protect children and their families from further unnecessary suffering, disability and death.
To find out more about our products and the protection they may provide please click here.
Preventing further outbreaks
Outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases could substantially increase sickness and fatalities and be catastrophic for communities and health systems already affected by the impact of COVID-19.
That is why the WHO has issued guidance for countries to prioritise routine immunisation of children in essential service delivery, as well as some adult vaccinations for at risk groups. If immunisation services must be suspended, the WHO recommends urgent catch-up vaccinations as soon as possible, prioritising those most at risk. To find out more about the WHO guidance please see the full paper here.