In 2002, prompted by a measles outbreak in Venezuela and Colombia, the health ministers of countries in the Andean region proposed a coordinated international vaccination effort to help prevent future outbreaks. Country participation in VWA is flexible and based on national health priorities. Since the first celebration of Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA) in 2003, hundreds of millions of individuals of all ages have been vaccinated against a wide range of vaccine preventable diseases such as measles, rubella, yellow fever, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, and influenza, through activities conducted under the framework of the initiative. Multiple VWA social mobilization campaigns have also been undertaken throughout the region and the initiative has received ever increasing political support.

Visit the Vaccination Week in the Americas site to learn more...


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.


With the slogan "Universalization of the Pneumococcal Vaccine," the Ministry of Health of Panama and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO / WHO) officialy launched on April 23, 2010 the 2010 Vaccination Week in the Americas, an initiative that reaches across the continent until May. (in Spanish)


Girl at a Vaccination Week in the Americas event

Washington, D.C., April 21, 2010 (PAHO) - Forty-four countries and territories of the Western Hemisphere will reach out to an estimated 42 million children and adults with vaccines during the Pan American Health Organization's 8th Annual Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA) on April 24 to May 1.


Tijuana, Baja California. On Thursday April 28th, 2011, the Health Secretary for the State of Baja California inaugurated the Immunization Schedule Comparison Tool organized by his office, the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission (USMBHC) and the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) U.S.-Mexico Border Office, the two-day workshop was held at the Auditorium of the Hopsital Angeles in Tijuana, Baja California. 


Las Vegas, Nevada.  On Monday April 25th, 2011, the Southern Nevada Immunization and Health Coalition (SNIHC), the Consulate of Mexico in Las Vegas, and the Ventanilla de Salud, celebrated a program kick-off for the Nevada Infant Immunization Program in conjunction with the U.S. National Infant Immunization Week and the Vaccination Week of the Americas (NIIW/VWA), the event was held at the Mexican Consulate.


The town of San Vicente, at the foot of Guatemala's Pacaya volcano, was the site for an April 28 launch event attended by PAHO Assistant Director Socorro Gross and Guatemalan Minister of Health Ludwig Ovalle.


Vaccination Week in the Americas

Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA) is an extraordinary effort led by the
countries and territories of the Region to advance equity and access to vaccination.
VWA activities strengthen the national immunization programs in the Americas and work to identify
and vaccinate isolated and disadvantaged populations with little access to regular health services,
such as those populations living in urban fringes, rural and border areas and in indigenous communities.
Since its inception in 2003, more than 350 million individuals of all ages have been vaccinated during
activities conducted under the framework of VWA. The initiative also provides a platform to raise
population awareness regarding the importance of immunization and to keep the topic on the forefront of
political agendas in the Region. For more information on the history and background of VWA,
see the About VWA link to the left.

Vaccination Week in the Americas 2011 - FINAL REPORT

The ninth annual VWA took place from 23-30 April 2011 under the theme "Vaccinate your Family, Protect your Community." This year, the initiative was celebrated by 43 countries and territories, with a regional goal to vaccinate more than 41 million individuals through a variety of campaigns. For summarized country plans and other technical documents, see the Technical Information link. Promotional materials to support national activities are available for download under the Video and Graphic Material links, while workbooks to aid in national planning are located under Planning Materials.

In 2011, VWA was carried out simultaneously with the National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) in the United States and the National Immunization Awareness Week in Canada (NIAW). Additionally, four other Regions of the World Health Organization (WHO) simultaneously celebrated their own sister initiatives. These included the 6th European Immunization Week (EIW), the 2nd Vaccination Week in the Eastern Mediterranean (VWEM) and the first ever vaccination week initiatives in the African and Western Pacific Regions, putting us well on our way towards celebrating a Global Vaccination Week in the near future!

For information on all of these global efforts please see External Links

PLEASE  MARK YOUR CALENDARS: the 10th anniversary of VWA will be celebrated from 21-28 April 2012!