Vaccines Work for Every Child
Tirana, 24 April, 2017 – To mark the World Immunization Week, on 24–30 April, UNICEF will draw attention to the millions of children who miss out on the vaccinations that could save their lives and protect their future. The World Immunization Week is held each year at the end of April to promote the use of life-saving vaccines for all children – particularly those who are consistently excluded.
Immunization is one of the most effective and cost effective ways to protect children’s lives and futures. Yet, more than half of the world’s most vulnerable children still miss out the essential vaccines they need to survive and live healthy lives. Vaccines save 2–3 million lives every year. Every dollar invested in vaccines by 2020 could provide an estimated return of 16 times the cost in low- and middle-income countries.
In Albania, the immunization programme is among the most consolidated public health interventions. Thanks to a strong government commitment, the vaccination coverage of children aged 0-14 years remains commendably high at 97 per cent. However, the immunization programme achievements cannot be taken for granted. Sustained efforts are needed to address disparities in immunization coverage, prioritise those specific population groups with vaccination coverage lower than the national average, and maintain public trust in immunization.
The Ministry of Health in Albania funds 100 per cent of the country’s vaccine procurement for the Children’s Immunization Programme and expands the immunization schedule with new vaccines on a continuous basis. UNICEF in Albania has been a long-standing partner of the Ministry of Health, supporting the efforts of the Albanian Government in strengthening national immunization services, polio eradication, measles elimination activities, communication for immunization, and strengthening of the country’s cold chain system. Vaccines for children are purchased by the Government through UNICEF Procurement Services, which ensures the highest quality of vaccines at the most competitive prices on the international market. This vaccine procurement arrangement is based on a long-term Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Ministry of Health and UNICEF Supply Division.
#VaccinesWork. And UNICEF works to make sure they are available#ForEveryChild. UNICEF is one of the world's largest buyers of vaccines for children: In 2016, we procured 2.5 billion doses, reaching 45 per cent of the world’s children with life-saving vaccinations. From 2012 to 2015, UNICEF helped reduce the cost of some vaccines by up to 70 per cent, saving more than US$1 billion. UNICEF office in Albania supports the Ministry of Health in vaccine procurement. In 2016, UNICEF procured vaccines with funds of the Albanian Government totaling USD 1,752,395, for over 10 types of vaccines.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.