April 2015 Immunization Observances
Goodbye, March. Hello, April! With cold weather behind us and the active flu season slowing down, April brings a renewed, hopeful focus on health. In fact, April boasts FOUR immunization-related observances.
Immunization is one of the biggest keys to staying healthy. In one year, vaccines prevent more than 8,500 child hospitalizations in Colorado, 33,000 deaths in the U.S., and between 2 and 3 million deaths worldwide. That’s certainly worth celebrating, but we know our work isn’t done.
Many kids aren’t getting the protection they deserve. More than 27 percent of Colorado two-year-olds are under- or unimmunized, and our state has the lowest measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination rate among kindergarteners in the country at just 86 percent. At the same time, measles, a highly contagious vaccine-preventable disease, is storming the nation. From January 1, 2015 to March 27, 2015, 178 people in 17 states were infected with measles. Most of these reported cases are part of a large outbreak that began at Disneyland Theme Park in California, and research shows that pockets of low vaccination are to blame. We can and should do better.
This month’s special observances offer opportunities to energize our immunization advocacy and outreach efforts on the local, national and global level. Stay tuned to Team Vaccine throughout the month of April for resources, tools and ideas for getting involved!
During the first full week of April each year, the American Public Health Association brings together communities across the United States to observe National Public Health Week (NPHW) as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation. This year’s NPHW will rally around a goal of making the U.S. the Healthiest Nation in One Generation — by 2030.
Twitter Chat: @NPHW #NPHWchat – Building Momentum
Wednesday, April 8, 12 p.m. MT
National Infant Immunization Week, April 18-25, 2015 #NIIW
National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance to promote the benefits of immunizations and to improve the health of children two years old or younger. Since 1994, local and state health departments, national immunization partners, healthcare professionals, community leaders from across the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have worked together through NIIW to highlight the positive impact of vaccination on the lives of infants and children, and to call attention to immunization achievements.
World Immunization Week: Close the Immunization Gap, April 24-30, 2015
The World Immunization Week, which will be held from 24-30 April 2015, will signal a renewed global, regional, and national effort to accelerate action to increase awareness and demand for immunization by communities, and improve vaccination delivery services. This year’s campaign focuses on closing the immunization gap and reaching equity in immunization levels as outlined in the Global Vaccine Action Plan, which is a framework to prevent millions of deaths by 2020 through universal access to vaccines for people in all communities.
Shot@Life New Champion Training – Denver, CO
During World Immunization Week, the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life Campaign will host a New Champion training in Denver, CO on Sunday, April 26 as well as three virtual trainings from 6-7:30 p.m. MT on April 16, 21 and 29. Shot@Life is a movement to protect children worldwide by providing life-saving vaccines where they’re most needed. Learn more at shotatlife.org and apply today.
Vaccination Week in the Americas, April 25-May 2, 2015 #GetVax #Vacúnate
The regional slogan for the 13th Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA) 2015 is “Boost your power! Get vaccinated!” VWA is an extraordinary effort led by the countries and territories of the Americas to advance equity and access to vaccination. VWA activities strengthen the national immunization programs by reaching out to 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 519 million individuals of all ages have been vaccinated under the framework of VWA. Vaccination Week in the Americas also provides a highly visible platform to raise population awareness regarding the importance of immunization and to keep vaccines on the forefront of political agendas.
Tweet us @ImmunizeCOKids and let us know what you’re doing to help spread the word about NPHW, NIIW, WIW, and VWA in your Colorado community!