This week, all eyes were on a conference on Universal Health Coverage taking place in Tokyo, Japan, which hosted discussions on how interventions like vaccination could form a platform for other health services, and produced a unifying declaration at the end. In Kenya, others explored similar themes by showing the interconnectivity of interventions like education and immunisation for a country’s health and wealth.

UNICEF’s Vaccine Independence Initiative – which supports countries as they move towards fully funding their own vaccination programmes – got a significant funding boost from the Gates Foundation, who this week began looking back on 2017’s global health achievements. Elsewhere, Melinda Gates shared her pride at having helped save millions of lives by investing in vaccination programmes in poorer countries.

As scientists explored the possibility of using bacteriophages (viruses that target bacteria) to stop antimicrobial resistance, others emphasised the ongoing and essential role of vaccines in doing the same thing.

The fight to use HPV vaccines to prevent cervical cancer continued, as the island nation of Sao Tome and Principe introduced the shots to protect their population.