Why is immunization so important?
Each year, over 1.4 million children die from diseases that are preventable with readily available vaccines.
Immunization protects children against some of the most dangerous diseases of childhood. All children, including those who are disabled, need to be vaccinated. A child is immunized by vaccines, which are injected or given by mouth. The vaccines work by building up the child's defences against diseases. Immunization only works if given before the disease strikes.
A child who is not immunized is very likely to get measles, whooping cough and many other diseases that can kill. Children who survive these diseases are weakened and may not grow well. They may be permanently disabled. They may die later from malnutrition and other illnesses.
Children who are immunized are protected from these dangerous diseases, which can often lead to disability or death. All children have the right to this protection.
Every girl and boy needs to be fully immunized. Early protection is critical. The immunizations in the child's first year and into the second year are especially important. It is also essential that pregnant women are immunized against tetanus to protect themselves as well as their newborns.