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A WHO official says vaccinations can avert up to 5M deaths annually.

According to a World Health Organization (WHO) representative, vaccination protects between 3.5 million and 5 million deaths annually from illnesses like diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, influenza, and measles.

In honor of World Immunization Week, WHO Türkiye representative Batyr Berdyklychev told Anadolu: “Today, we have vaccines to prevent more than 20 serious illnesses, allowing people of all ages to live longer, healthier lives.”

World Immunization Week is observed during the final week of April to highlight the necessity of group efforts to shield people from diseases that can be prevented through vaccination, according to Berdyklychev.

He claimed that vaccinations help individuals live healthier lives and prevent them from becoming impoverished.

“Health and happiness are intertwined. An ill individual is less productive, may lose their job, and incur catastrophic medical costs. Therefore, it is predicted that vaccines will help prevent the poverty of about 24 million people by 2030, according to Berdyklychev.

“We can say that immunization is one of the best health investments money can buy,” he continued.

“Vaccines can only prevent and improve health if they are used.”

Berdyklychev mentioned vaccination hesitancy as one of the top 10 global health issues.

He added: “This issue threatens to reverse progress in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases.” “Vaccines can only improve health and prevent deaths if used,” he said.

According to Berdyklychev, the main causes of vaccine hesitation are complacency, difficulty obtaining vaccines, and lack of faith.

“Health workers, especially those in communities, remain the most trusted advisors and influencers of vaccination decisions, and they must be supported to provide trusted, credible information on vaccines,” he continued.

According to Berdyklychev, childhood immunization rates are “concerningly declining across the globe,” and “un- and under-vaccinated people continue to be at risk of contracting preventable diseases like measles, diphtheria, and polio.”

We must remind people that every vaccine and dose counts to save lives and protect ourselves and those we love. As a result, our public health services must be attentive to detect and trace any cases of VPD.

Regarding the future of vaccination, Berdyklychev stated that researchers are developing new vaccines and new methods of administering them to increase their effectiveness.

“Technology and substitute adjuvants that can do away with the requirement for several doses are currently being developed. For some vaccines, such as live oral vaccines given to prevent diseases like rotavirus, needle-free administration is already an option. For additional vaccines, research is still being done.

Equity in vaccines

Although the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the vaccines that had been developed the quickest, according to Berdyklychev, it also exposed “existing problems with vaccine equity.”

Different nations have varying immunization coverage levels, and some populations have limited access to immunization services.

“Every year, 20 million infants fail to obtain the full course of even the most basic vaccinations, and many more skip out on the most recent shots. Over 13 million of these children—known as zero-dose children—do not receive any vaccinations through immunization programs, according to Berdyklychev.

When there is a global or national vaccine shortage, vaccination of high-priority groups like healthcare workers, seniors, and immunocompromised people must be given priority, according to Berdyklychev.

At service delivery points, “adequate, predictable supplies of appropriate, affordable vaccines of assured quality must be available, and stock-outs must be avoided,” he continued.

According to Berdyklychev, the WHO collaborates with nations and partners to address vaccine inequities. One such initiative is the COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Partnership, which prioritizes 34 nations with low COVID-19 immunization rates and puts the government at its core.

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This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement of any specific technologies or methodologies and financial advice or endorsement of any specific products or services.

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