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Protecting the next generations with vaccines – World & European Immunization Week 2023

23-30 April 2023

The World Immunization Week (WIW), running from 24-30 April and European Immunization Week (EIW), running from 23-29 April, seek to raise awareness of the significance of vaccination in preventing infectious diseases and protecting public health.

Under the theme of ‘The Big Catch-Up’, WIW is dedicated to ensuring more people, particularly children, are protected from preventable diseases, while EIW is focused on promoting three key messages: “Every dose counts” — every recommended vaccine dose is important to keep you and those you love safe from vaccine-preventable diseases; “Timing matters”— the routine vaccination schedule is a must; and “Have a vaccination conversation”- aiming to foster open conversations between patients and health professionals. Supporting these messages, the European Vaccine Initiative, GSK, iBET, Moderna, and Vaccines Europe joined efforts in a unique communications partnership to raise awareness for vaccines with the documentary film "Protecting the Next Generations: Combating Diseases of Poverty and Preventing Emerging Infections." This short video aims to educate and raise awareness among decision-makers in governments, the private sector, non-governmental organisations, and civil society about the crucial role vaccines play in protecting and saving millions of lives, combating emerging infections, and addressing the next major challenges in vaccine development. Altogether, we focus on the power of collaboration to bring faster and more innovative solutions in the vaccine R&D field, by combining the best aspects of industry, biotech, NGO and academia.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us how important vaccination and immunization can be for our lives and communities. It has been proven that when we work together and take collective action, we can accomplish amazing things in the face of adversity. Let us not neglect the many diseases that vaccines shield us from as we continue to navigate the challenges that the future may bring.

We advocate for the use of vaccines as one of the most effective public health tools, allowing people to live longer and healthier lives. Immunisation currently prevents 3.5 to 5 million deaths each year around the globe and reduces the risk of severe complications by enhancing the body's natural immune response to a particular pathogen. In addition, they protect vulnerable populations, such as young children, expectant women, and the elderly, who may be at a greater risk of severe illnesses from infectious diseases. Both WIW and EIW aim to address these issues by promoting accurate information about vaccines and encouraging individuals and communities to safeguard their families.

Despite the proven benefits of vaccination, many individuals in Europe and throughout the world continue to be hesitant or sceptical about receiving vaccines. Inaccurate information and misconceptions about vaccines can result in low vaccination rates and outbreaks of diseases that are preventable. This emphasises the need for ongoing efforts to increase vaccination rates and address vaccine reluctance.

Throughout the film, high-level representatives from each partnering institution share lessons learned, and best practices implemented that laid the ground for successful vaccine development programmes.

Let’s honour the long-lasting global efforts that have made many once common infectious diseases now uncommon or eradicated entirely due to effective vaccination programmes.

Watch the video now!


Read more about the documentary film with quotes from interviewees:


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