About Vaccination Week in the Americas
In 2002, prompted by a measles outbreak in Venezuela and Colombia, the health ministers
of countries in the Andean region propose an annual Vaccination Week in the Americas to help
prevent such future outbreaks. In the 8 years since VWA was first implemented, over 288
million people have been vaccinated against a wide range of vaccine preventable diseases
such as measles, rubella, yellow fever, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, and influenza, as a result of
the initiative. Multiple VWA social mobilization campaigns throughout the region have also been undertaken and the initiative has received ever increasing political support.
To access more information on each year's Vaccination Week activities, click on the desired year.
2011: The ninth annual VWA has been celebrated from 23-20 April 2011 across the countries and territories of the Americas. This year, the Regional slogan is "Vaccinate your family, protect your community." Regional launching events has been organized throughout the Amazon sub-region, and between Peru and Bolivia in the Altiplano. In 2011, the African and Western Pacific WHO Regions are celebrating their first ever vaccination week initiatives, joining in this growing global effort!
2010: The eighth VWA is celebrated under the slogan of "reaching everyone". Regional launching events are held in multiple locations, including Nicaragua, the Haiti/Dominican Republic border, and the Suriname/French Guiana border. The latter event is the first ever bi-Regional launching event, linking both VWA and EIW. In 2010, the Eastern Mediterranean (EMRO) Region of WHO celebrated its first ever Vaccination Week in the Eastern Mediterranean (VWEM) and counted on 100% participation of the countries in that region.
2009: The seventh annual VWA emphasizes the importance of family vaccination as well as the vaccination of health workers. Multiple launching events are held throughout the Region, including a series of events in the South American Chaco, the border area shared by Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay and one of the transnational priority areas as identified by the Pan American Alliance for Nutrition and Development.
2008: The sixth annual VWA involves the participation of 45 countries and territories in the Region. Multiple VWA launching events take place along binational and trinational borders throughout the Region with the participation of high-ranking authorities under the framework of a Health Caravan. Diverse vaccination campaigns take place as part of the week, including multiple measles/rubella elimination campaigns, focused primarily in Central America. More than 59 million individuals are vaccinated through such efforts.
2007: Forty-five countries and territories participate in Vaccination Week in the Americas, the highest total thus far in the history of the initiative. More than 47 million individuals are vaccinated as a result of the week's initiatives which work to strengthen border coordination, reach isolated populations, strengthen routine programs and advance the control of yellow fever and hepatitis B, among other goals.
2006: In its fourth year, VWA activities highlight the transition from child to family immunization programs, the strengthening of regular immunization programs, influenza, rubella elimination and the introduction of new vaccines. Over 49 million people are vaccinated during the 2006 campaign.
In June 2006, the PAHO Executive Committee confirms the organization's commitment to VWA by recommending that the PAHO Directing Council adopt resolution CE138.R4, which would urge member states to continue to support and expand vaccination efforts, including the yearly celebration of Vaccination Week in the Americas.
2005: The third VWA emphasizes the vaccination of indigenous peoples and older adults, rubella elimination campaigns, the strengthening of regular immunization programs and the introduction of new vaccines. During this campaign, more than 38 million people are vaccinated in the Region. Drawing inspiration from the activities in the Americas, European Immunization Week (EIW) launches in October 2005 and focuses primarily on social communication activities.
2004: Twenty-three countries participate in the second annual VWA. The focus for 2004 consists of follow-up campaigns against measles, elimination of rubella and CRS, and the vaccination of older adults. Over 43 million people are vaccinated in the second year of the VWA campaign.
2003: In September, Vaccination Week in the Americas is accepted as an annual, hemispheric initiative, by the Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization, with the adoption of Resolution CD44.R1. The principles underlying Vaccination Week in the Americas are equity, access, and Pan-Americanism. Nineteen countries participate in the first VWA, the primary focus of which is measles elimination. With the implementation of this program, more than 16 million people are vaccinated.