The World Immunization Week 2023, which runs from April 24th to April 30th, under the theme “The Big Catchup” emphasizes the importance of catching up on missed vaccinations due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected healthcare services worldwide, including immunization services. This has resulted in many children and adults missing their routine vaccinations, leading to a rise in vaccine-preventable diseases. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that 23 million children missed out on basic vaccines in 2020.
The goal of “The Big Catchup” campaign is to address this gap and ensure that everyone is protected against vaccine-preventable diseases. NSSF is emphasizing the importance of individuals and communities checking their vaccination status and catching up on any missed vaccines. It also aims to promote the continued immunization of children under five years old.
Immunization is crucial in protecting individuals and communities against preventable diseases. As a Fund, we call for a multi-sectoral approach involving various stakeholders, including the government, healthcare workers, and community leaders to revamp the primary healthcare system in the country.
Dr. Chinye-Nwoko, the General Manager, stresses the importance of expanding access to vaccines for underserved and vulnerable communities. She reminds us that we need to keep up with routine vaccinations, even after the pandemic, because “vaccines save lives, and we need to ensure that everyone has access to these life-saving interventions.”
At NSSF, we are committed to supporting expanded access to vaccines for all vulnerable populations. The government has implemented several measures to strengthen the immunization program, including improving vaccine supply chains, increasing the number of trained health workers, and expanding outreach services to reach remote and underserved communities.
As part of the World Immunization Week 2023 campaign, NSSF is creating awareness to promote immunization. The campaign includes sensitization on diseases and vaccines available, collaboration with media houses, celebrating the roles and contributions of HRH (Human Resources For Health) to immunization efforts, and social media campaigns.
This is a call to action for everyone to ensure that they and their families are protected against vaccine-preventable diseases. By catching up on missed vaccines and continuing with routine vaccinations, we can build a healthier and more resilient world. So, let’s all do our part to stay protected and healthy!