Immunization saves 2-3 million lives each year. By protecting children against serious diseases, vaccines play a central role in ending preventable child deaths. UNICEF’s immunization programme also helps identify those children that have been left behind by the health system and can bring other life-saving care to these mothers and children.
Vaccines now protect more children than ever before, but nearly one in five infants misses out on the basic vaccines they need to stay alive and healthy. Low immunization levels among poor and marginalized children compromise gains made in all other areas of maternal and child health.
Over 1.5 million children die annually from diseases that can be prevented by vaccination.
The immunization programme in brief:
UNICEF works with partners in government, NGOs, other UN agencies and the private sector to provide immunization to the children who need it the most.
Vaccinating children in every community: wherever children are not immunized, their lives and their communities are at risk. UNICEF is tailoring new approaches to vaccinate every child in every community – no matter how remote or challenging.
The cold chain: UNICEF and partners are harnessing solar power, mobile technology and telemetrics to make sure that vaccines reach all children without losing their effectiveness from exposure to extreme heat or cold weather conditions.
Vaccine supply: With UNICEF efforts, the price for a number of essential childhood vaccines has reached all-time lows. This has facilitated the introduction of new vaccines to children living in the poorest countries.
Innovation: Working with private and public partners, UNICEF steers investment toward new vaccines, diagnostic and health technologies.
Disease eradication and elimination programmes: Thanks to steady progress on expanding vaccination, the world has never been in a better position to eradicate polio. Immunization against measles, rubella and tetanus are bringing the world closer to eliminating these devastating diseases.