Each April, World Immunization Week brings together people from around the world to highlight the importance of vaccines and how they protect people of all ages against many diseases, giving us the opportunity to pursue a life well-lived. This year’s campaign comes at a critical turning point for immunization. After over two years of immunization backsliding caused by COVID-19 pandemic disruptions, we must catch-up, restore and strengthen immunization services to reach the millions of people missing out on the life-saving benefits of vaccines and stop outbreaks from accelerating. In recognition of this historic moment for immunization, World Immunization Week 2023 will mark the beginning of a year-long campaigns with the theme “The Big Catch-up,” representing a global push to vaccinate millions of children and return to pre-pandemic vaccination levels.

Every year during World Immunization Week Pfizer takes the time to celebrate the impact of vaccines, and this year is no exception even in the midst of heightened concern and apprehension around the status of vaccination programs around the world.

Kodjo Soroh, Medical Director, Sub-Saharan Africa, Pfizer, commented, “At Pfizer, we have a long history in vaccine research and development, including a pivotal role in the eradication of polio and smallpox. Through the development of innovative delivery systems and technologies (the term often used is “novel vaccines”), we’ve created innovations for preventing deadly bacterial infections.”
“Vaccines underpin our global health security by preventing and controlling over 30 infectious diseases, reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and controlling infectious disease outbreaks. We should not forget that they are one of the world’s most powerful and cost-effective public health tools available and have successfully helped to eradicate, eliminate, and manage many deadly infectious diseases. Smallpox has been eradicated and polio is nearly gone. Cervical cancer could become the first cancer to be eliminated.”
“Vaccines also play a critical role in combatting antimicrobial resistance: they can reduce antibiotic use by preventing bacterial infections in the first place, such as with the pneumococcal and meningococcal vaccines, and can also prevent viral infections such as flu, which can provoke secondary infections requiring antibiotics.”

“Today, more than at any time in history, people are benefiting from safe and effective vaccines to prevent infections and diseases. These injections have protected people of all ages, from newborns to seniors.”

“However, our work is not done. Many viruses and bacteria still present a serious health risk, and so we continue to focus on research and development in new areas, with the goal of adding more approved vaccines to tackle pathogens.”

“By getting vaccinated, you can protect yourself and also avoid spreading preventable diseases to other people in your community. Some people cannot get certain vaccines because they are too young or too old or they have a weakened immune system or other serious health condition. Those people are less likely to catch a preventable disease when you and others around them are vaccinated against it. Help protect yourself and the people you love by staying up to date on recommended vaccinations.”

Global vaccination coverage figures are looking up, but they still mask huge inequalities that we cannot afford to ignore. To help protect as many people as possible from life-threatening illness, we’re working to develop and distribute vaccines throughout the world. We’ve already seen that by channeling resources to the most promising public health opportunities, we can have an impact across all areas of life.
Every year for World Immunization Week, recognized annually the last week of April, Pfizer being a major player in the global immunization community reiterates the lifesaving power of vaccines. This year’s theme, The Big Catch-Up, is an opportunity to raise awareness of the urgent and critical need to find and vaccinate children who missed vaccines that help to protect them from illness, disability, and death. During this week, Pfizer is increasing awareness about the value of immunization in protecting everyone from diseases that can be prevented. Pfizer applies science and its global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. The biopharmaceutical strives to set the standard for quality, safety, and value in the discovery, development, and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments, and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with their responsibility as one of the world’s premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, they collaborate with health care providers, governments, and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has been working to make a difference for all who rely on them.

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