April 24–30, 2022
For more than 2 centuries, vaccines have helped make the world a safer place – from the very first vaccine developed to protect against smallpox to the newest mRNA vaccines used to prevent severe cases of COVID-19. Vaccines protect us as individuals and help protect each other as members of the global community. The 2022 theme for European Immunization Week (EIW) is “Long Live For All”. It aims to reinforce the importance of equitable and expanded access to vaccines, in order to contribute to a long and healthy life for all.
This year, the EIW brings together partners and collaborators from across the WHO European Region to focus on the importance of vaccines to protect people of all ages and backgrounds against vaccine-preventable diseases, and to remember the historical seismic impact of vaccines. Much has been done and progress in controlling many diseases has accelerated over the past decades, but 2022 is also a crossroads with many challenges.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased politicization of vaccines and declining childhood vaccination rates in several countries. Immunization services have been disrupted in Ukraine and all children who have fled the country will need access to routine childhood vaccines wherever they go. These challenges make the importance of universal access to vaccines clearer than ever. During the EIW, WHO/Europe will work with its Member States and partners to raise awareness of the benefits of vaccines and the risks of any decline in vaccination rates.