World Immunization Week 2023: Why does it matter and what do I need to know?

April 2023

World Immunization Week takes place annually from the 24 to 30 April. It’s led by the World Health Organization and aims to highlight the importance of life-saving vaccines.

This year’s theme, is The Big Catch-Up, and aims to get global immunisations back on track after the disruption to vaccination levels caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll be taking some time to reflect on the week and the role it plays in educating and informing people about vaccines.

What is World Immunization Week and why is so important?

Millions of lives are saved every year by vaccines. For decades they have been offering life-saving protection against a range of potentially fatal or life-changing illnesses. Yet, despite their proven success as an effective public health intervention, vaccine uptake has stalled in recent years. 

Figures from the World Health Organization show, the pandemic and disruptions in healthcare across the world, mean an estimated 25 million children have missed out on crucial vaccinations in 2021, the highest since 2009.

World Immunization Week aims to raise awareness of the effectiveness of vaccinations and to encourage everyone to protect themselves in the fight against disease.

How are vaccines helping us in the fight to defeat meningitis? 

2.5 million people are affected by meningitis every year. 

Meningitis can affect anyone, anywhere at any time. It’s fast acting and can spread rapidly around the globe. Immunisation is the only way to prevent and protect yourself and those you care about. After decades of research, life-changing discoveries have been made and, together with ongoing surveillance, vaccines have helped to save millions of lives.

How is Meningitis Research Foundation supporting World Immunization Week?

To mark the week, we’re taking some time to share the impact meningitis vaccines have had in creating the chance of a longer life for everyone.

So why not head over to our vaccination information pages to find out everything you need to know about meningitis immunisations?

Here you can build your understanding of how to protect against the most common causes of meningitis and the types of vaccines available. While you're there, put your mind at rest by checking your family’s vaccines are up to date using our Which meningitis vaccine and when? guide. This breaks down the different types of meningitis immunisations available and the age they are offered as part of the routine vaccination schedule in the UK. Living outside of the UK? On this page you can also find out how to know more about the meningitis vaccinations available around the world.

If you're interested to know more about the evolution of meningitis immunisations? Then why not spend some time finding out about the history of meningitis vaccines, when each was introduced and the vital role they have played in the prevention and control of the disease. Or check out our blog about the three ways meningitis vaccines have changed the course of history?

Help spread life-saving awareness with our free resources

Want to do more? Then why not help spread the word about the lifesaving importance of meningitis vaccines. We are calling on everyone to play a role and make 2023 the year of catching-up on meningitis vaccines. In our digital toolkit you’ll find resources that you can use on social media to help raise awareness of meningitis, the importance of prevention, and the ways in which meningitis vaccines have already changed the world.

For everything else you need to know, head to our meningitis vaccination information page.

A global vision for meningitis by 2030 and an action plan to get there.

Detailed information about the after effects of meningitis

Blogs on all matters meningitis