UN agencies, partners launch new global campaign to boost lifesaving vaccinations-Xinhua

UN agencies, partners launch new global campaign to boost lifesaving vaccinations

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-04-25 14:00:16

UNITED NATIONS, April 25 (Xinhua) -- Two UN agencies alongside the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the global vaccine alliance Gavi launched a collaborative campaign on Wednesday to boost global vaccination programs, marking the beginning of World Immunization Week.

The campaign, called Humanly Possible, is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and seeks to enhance immunization efforts worldwide.

"Thanks to vaccinations, more children now survive and thrive past their fifth birthday than at any other point in history," said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell, underscoring the impact of vaccines.

Global immunization initiatives have demonstrated their enormous potential, as noted by WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

"Vaccines are among the most powerful inventions in history," he said.

"Thanks to vaccines, smallpox has been eradicated, polio is on the brink and with the more recent development of vaccines against diseases like malaria and cervical cancer, we are pushing back the frontiers of disease," he added.

A landmark study to be published by the British medical journal The Lancet reveals that global immunization efforts have saved an estimated 154 million lives over the past five decades, including 101 million infants. That is the equivalent of six lives saved every minute of every year for the last 50 years.

The study, led by WHO, highlights the unparalleled contribution of immunization in reducing infant mortality, with measles vaccines noted for their significant impact.

In detailing the accomplishments of Gavi, Dr. Sania Nishtar, the alliance's chief executive officer, said, "In a little over two decades, we have seen incredible progress, protecting more than a billion children, helping halve childhood mortality in these countries and providing billions in economic benefits."

World Immunization Week aims to extend protection from vaccine-preventable diseases to more people and communities worldwide.