World immunization week: Long Life for All
Collective action needed to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease
TASHKENT, 24 April 2022 – This World Immunization Week(WIW), UNICEF in Uzbekistan has joined the global community to call for ‘Long Life for All’ and congratulated the government of Uzbekistan for building a robust immunization system that has served both children and adults with life-saving vaccinations.
Uzbekistan has managed to sustain the routine immunization level at 95 – 98 percent, despite massive COVID-19 interruptions. Beyond that the country’s national deployment plan was commended as a global model in delivering COVID19 vaccinations to its people.
“The last two years have shown the merits of investing in a resilient immunization supply and logistics chain in Uzbekistan,” said Munir Mammadzade UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan. “As we go through COVID 19, years of investing in warehouses and decentralized cold chain at district and primary health levels has paid off and combined to deliver life-saving vaccines for children and adults.”
UNICEF has partnered with the Government of Uzbekistan over the last 5 years to build a robust infrastructure to support national vaccination and immunization. Over the past few years, UNICEF commissioned 21 modern cold chain facilities, equipped them with cold rooms, freezers and refrigerators. Further, it procured vehicles for the transportation of vaccines and developed a vaccine logistic management information system. In total this was nearly USD$ 20 million.
This year WIW comes against the background of the COVID-19 pandemic. The year’s theme Long Life for All; Vaccines: In pursuit of a long life well lived”, recognizes the importance of vaccination for all more than ever. UNICEF has supported the government of Uzbekistan in fighting COVID-19 as the procurement, delivery and lead programme implementation agency. Since March 20221, UNICEF delivered about 25 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Uzbekistan through the COVAX Facility, the global mechanism for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. As of 21 April 2022, 76% of the illegible population was fully immunized.
However, UNICEF has warned that current successes can be fragile and implored on partners to reach the last mile and ensure those requiring vaccines would access and to ensure that communities remain galvanized to vaccinate.
“Public and political will is imperative to guard the gains made so far on immunization in Uzbekistan,” added Mr. Mammadzade. ”Communities need to maintain vigilance and uptake of services, while government and partners need to finance vaccination and ensure under-served communities are reached.”
World Immunization Week – celebrated every year in the last week of April – aims to highlight the collective action needed and to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. The goal of World Immunization Week is for more people – and their communities – to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.
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