Vaccination Week expected to reach 41 million children in the Western Hemisphere

Vaccination Week, held from April 23 through April 30, expects to aid an estimated 41 million children and adults from 45 countries and territories in the Western Hemisphere.

This year’s campaign slogan of “Vaccinate your family, protect your community” focuses on awareness for all members of the family, rather than just children, according to

Lead and coordinated by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization since the campaign launched in 2003, the event also relies on the support of health workers, volunteers and government officials.

The initiative, considered the largest multi-country health effort, promotes immunization as one of the public health’s most cost-effective measures and has helped spread the benefits of immunization to the hemisphere’s most vulnerable populations. To date, more than 323 million children and adults have been reached within the framework of the initiative.

Vaccines deployed this year provide protections against polio, measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, influenza and yellow fever, among other diseases, reports.

The week-long vaccination campaign comes at a time when both Minnesota and Utah have reported high cases of measles outbreaks.

Vaccination weeks are also being held simultaneously this year in Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean, Africa and the Western Pacific regions. In total, more than 180 countries and territories worldwide are expected to participate in vaccination week events.