European Immunisation Week 24-30 April 2019 - celebrating vaccine heroes


This year Ireland, along with other European countries, will celebrate European Immunisation Week from 24-30 April. The campaign is organised by the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe in conjunction with World Immunization Week and other WHO regional initiatives. European Immunization Week, which has been rolled out each year since 2005, aims to promote the key message that immunisation is vital to prevent diseases and protect life. The slogan – Prevent. Protect. Immunize. – carries this core message across the European region. This year the campaign aims to increase awareness of the benefits of vaccines and to celebrate everyday “vaccine heroes” who contribute to saving lives through vaccination.

Vaccine heroes include parents who choose vaccination for their children, healthcare workers who promote and administer vaccines, and all who seek and pass on evidence-based vaccine information to others. This concept fits within the overarching framework of World Immunization Week, which will focus on the theme of “Protected Together: Vaccines Work!”.

The goal of this region-wide initiative is to improve vaccination coverage by increasing awareness of the vital importance of immunisation among parents, caregivers, healthcare professionals, policy and decision-makers and the media.

Much progress has been made in Ireland over recent decades in introducing, and increasing uptake of, important vaccines that prevent potentially serious infectious diseases. Recent immunisation success stories include the declaration by WHO that Ireland had eliminated rubella in 2015. Despite ongoing promotion efforts, optimal national uptake has not yet been achieved (for example, measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine) and Ireland remains exposed to preventable infectious diseases. Ireland should continue to sustain progress that has been made on immunisation and endeavour to further improve coverage of vaccines, which are both safe and effective at preventing serious diseases.

Further information
World Immunization Week 2019
National Immunisation Office
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) – immunisation and vaccines