World Immunisation Week 2023
24 Apr 2023
World Immunisation Week is celebrated between 24-30 April each year to promote the use of immunisations (vaccines) to protect people of all ages against vaccine-preventable diseases.
For over 200 years, vaccines have been making the world safer by protecting us against diseases that threaten lives, such as polio, measles and smallpox. Vaccines are widely recognised as one of the world’s most successful health interventions, preventing 3.5 to 5 million deaths every year.
Since 2020, childhood vaccination rates have decreased in many countries due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated strain on healthcare systems.
- In 2021, there were 25 million children globally who missed out on vaccinations, which is an increase of 6 million children from 2019.
The World Health Organization theme for World Immunisation Week 2023 is 'The Big Catch-Up'. The overall goal is to protect communities from all diseases which can be prevented by vaccines, which in turn should enable them to live healthy happy lives. To achieve this goal, the campaign aims to support countries to get back on track by:
- catching up with the millions of children who missed out on being vaccinated during the pandemic
- strengthening primary health care services to deliver immunisation campaigns
- aiming to restore vaccination coverage levels to at least 2019 figures
See the country-specific pages for information about vaccines recommended before you travel abroad.
Further information about routine vaccines given for life in the UK is available for:
- NHS inform: when to immunise
England, Wales, Northern Ireland: