This week in vaccines

1st May 2016

The last seven days have seen celebrations of progress and discussions of remaining vaccine challenges, as World Immunisation Week got underway. 

The week kicked off with a summary of key immunisation issues for discussion. Partners explored roles of communities and health workers in vaccination and even related medical services

From vaccines preventing causes of pneumonia in The Gambia, to the innovative MenAfriVac, success stories were widely shared, backed up by promising future approaches, such as mobile technology for vaccination in Africa.  

Despite progress, several vaccine challenges were reported on, including the barriers faced in getting immunisation back to normal in post-Ebola Liberia, and the urgent need of children in conflict zones for vaccine protection. 

The eradication of polio also was strongly featured, as advocates called on governments to keep up momentum, and the vaccine “switch” brought the prospect of a polio free world even closer.  

By the end of the week, the path for improving immunisation seemed clear. Save the Children and RESULTS spelled out the need for faster, further, fairer vaccine coverage. The head of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance outlined why measles must not drop off the global health radar, and WHO leaders showed that vaccine research and development must continue.