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News note

UNICEF and partners kick off fifth annual Global Immunization Meeting

GENEVA, 1 February 2010 - UNICEF together with WHO and the GAVI Alliance, its global partners in the fight against vaccine-preventable diseases, met today in Geneva for the start of the fifth annual Global Immunization Meeting. The three-day meeting brings together technical experts from all three partners and is designed to provide a technical update to WHO and UNICEF regional and country staff.

The meeting will address the 2010 goals established in the Global Immunization Vision and Strategies (GIVS), including how to improve routine vaccination and support to the accelerated disease control initiatives; introducing new vaccines, including an update on the Hib Initiative and the status of pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines; experiences in integration of EPI with other programmes (including malaria interventions); and issues of global interdependence including vaccine supply and the pandemic influenza vaccines.

Immunization reaches over 80 per cent of children worldwide and is one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions ever, eradicating smallpox, lowering the global incidence of polio by 99 per cent since 1988, and achieving dramatic reductions in illness and death from diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough. In 2009, measles partners announced that mortality due to measles decreased by 78 per cent globally between 2000 and 2008.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, safe water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For further information, please contact:
Christian Moen, UNICEF New York,
Tel + 1 212 326 7516,
E-mail: cmoen@unicef.org

Brian Hansford, UNICEF New York,
Tel + 1 212 326 7269,
E-mail: bhansford@unicef.org




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