History Vaccination Week in 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 year.
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.
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.
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.
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.