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J Immunol Sci. 2018 Aug 2;Suppl(2):10-16.

Five-year experience of African Vaccination Week implemented by the WHO Regional Office.

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WHO Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville, Congo.


The 5th edition of the African Vaccination Week (AVW) kicked off in Lusaka, Zambia, on 23 April 2016, the same day as did the 4th World Immunization Week (WIW), and vaccination week in other WHO regions. The theme was "Save lives, prevent disabilities, vaccinate!". The aim was to draw attention to the need to attain universal immunization coverage in the African Region by closing the immunization gap, while also celebrating the important polio eradication milestone reached in the African Region. Twenty-eight (59.6%) of the 47 countries in the African Region celebrated the AVW within the regionally set dates of 24th to 30th April 2015. However, given its flexibility, the celebration continued until September in 15 other countries in the Region. Three countries, namely Comoros, Gabon, and Cape Verde did not join the celebration for the 2015 edition of the AVW. Countries used the opportunity to introduce new vaccines into their routine immunization. Populations, hitherto unreached with basic health services were reached with needed services, such as vitamin A supplementation, deworming, and catch up immunization services. The programmes promoted awareness of the benefits of vaccines and the rights of communities to demand vaccines and immunization services to save lives and prevent disabilities. The number of participating countries rose steadily from 40 in 2011 to 43 and 46 countries in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The number ranged from one intervention integrated with AVW in 17 countries to 5 interventions integrated with the AVW in three countries. In 2015, 67.4% of the participating countries integrated other interventions with AVW activities.


Africa; Immunization; Vaccination week; Vaccines


Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of Interest Authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

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