This year the European Immunisation Week (EIW) brings together partners and collaborators across the WHO European Region to focus on the importance of vaccines to protect people of all ages and backgrounds against vaccine-preventable diseases, and to remember the seismic historical impact of vaccines. Much has been achieved, and progress in controlling many diseases has accelerated in the past few decades, but 2022 is also a crossroads that presents many challenges.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased politicization of vaccines and a decrease in childhood vaccination rates in several countries. Immunisation services have been disrupted in Ukraine and all children who have fled the country will need access to routine childhood vaccines wherever they go. These challenges make the importance of universal access to vaccines clearer than ever. During EIW, WHO/Europe will work with its Member States and partners to create awareness about the benefits of vaccines and the risks of any decrease in vaccination rates.