Happy National Immunization Awareness Week!
It’s National Immunization Awareness Week (NIAW)! From April 23rd to April 30th, 2022, this event seeks to educate on immunization for all age groups.
This public health campaign is a great time to inform your patients about vaccines.
Started in 2012 by the World Health Organization (WHO), this global event aims to protect more people from preventable diseases.
A worldwide authority on healthcare, WHO advises vaccines save between 2-3 million lives each year.
Vaccines and Canada
But we still have a long way to go.
On a global level, it’s estimated that 22.6 million infants in underdeveloped countries do not receive basic vaccines.
Here at home in Canada, our vaccination programs start at birth for most people, lasting through our senior years. As a result, we tend to see high rates of vaccination and lower rates of preventable disease.
Vaccination Trends Over the Years
Yet vaccine rates are falling as more people refuse vaccines for themselves and their children. Controversy over the COVID vaccine has likely played a part in this trend over the past three years.
Yet vaccines were declining globally even before COVID-19.
The U.K., for example, lost measles-free status in 2019, seeing more than 230 cases in the first quarter of that year alone.
With the reemergence of preventable diseases worldwide, the need for education on vaccines is at an all-time high.
As pharmacy scope of practice increases, pharmacists are becoming the authority on vaccines. And while the COVID-19 vaccine is in the spotlight these days, it’s not the only vaccine plagued by misunderstanding.
But with proper education and information, patients are becoming more willing to get vaccinated. “They are more open to vaccines now,” said Jomelyn Calpito, Walmart Staff Pharmacist when asked about the impact of the COVID-19 vaccine policy on patients’ attitudes toward immunization.
How to Make the Most of Vaccine Awareness Week
Each year there is a different theme for vaccination awareness week; in 2022 it’s Long Life for All.
Here are some easy ways to participate in and make the most of World Immunization Week!
- Read more about the importance of vaccinations. You can visit the WHO website to read more about the World Immunization Week campaign.
- Talk to your patients about vaccines and immunization awareness! Encourage them to keep up to date with their vaccinations.
- Post about it on your social media. What better way to spread awareness quickly than to reach people virtually! WHO has provided useful resources and editable designs to showcase vaccine awareness. You can tag your post with the hashtag #LongLifeforAll.
The World Immunization Week aims to educate everyone about the importance of vaccinations and highlight the collective actions needed to promote a long life for all.
As a pharmacist, your help will aid in promoting vaccinations to save people of all ages against preventable illnesses.