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History of Vaccination Week in the Americas
VWA 2004 logo

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.

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. The primary objectives of the new initiative are to strengthen the regular immunization programs in the Americas and to identify and reach populations who are most at risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases, due to their lack of access to immunization services. Nineteen countries participate in the 1st VWA, the primary focus of which is measles elimination.

2004, 24-30 April - The focus of the second Region-wide VWA consists of follow-up campaigns against measles, elimination of rubella and CRS, and the vaccination of older adults.

2005, 24-30 April - 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. Drawing inspiration from the activities in the Americas, European Immunization Week (EIW) launches in October 2005 and focuses primarily on social communication activities.


2006, 22-29 April - 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.

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.

fotos 2007

2007, 21-28 April - In 2007, 45 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. More information on VWA's 2007 activities, and the final report can be found at:

2008- The sixth annual VWA took place from 19-26 April 2008 with the participation of 45 countries and territories in the Region. Multiple VWA launching events take place along binational and trinational borders throughout the Region under the framework of a Health Caravan and with the participation of high-ranking authorities. Diverse arrays of 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. The final report of VWA 2008 which contains more information about realized campaigns and VWA social communication activities can be found at:

2009 - The seventh annual VWA will take place from 25 April-2 May 2009. Themes emphasized during VWA this year will include the importance of family vaccination as well as the vaccination of health workers. Multiple launching events are being planned 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.


Last Updated on Monday, 23 March 2009 08:37

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