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World Immunization Week

While we may be accustomed to hearing about outbreaks of communicable diseases elsewhere in the world, the recent outbreaks here in the United States are cause for concern. Already this year, there have been 113 cases of measles in 18 states, including several in our Zones. Hundreds of thousands continue to be infected with COVID. Sporadic outbreaks of polio have even popped up here. And it is MUCH worse in less-developed parts of the world, including the two remaining countries with endemic Polio.

From April 24th to 30th, we will be recognizing World Immunization Week. Some of the milestones to be celebrated include:

  • 10 years since the World Health Organization (WHO) South-East Asia Region was certified free of polio
  • 30 years since the WHO Americas Region was certified as polio-free
  • 50 years since the launch of the Expanded Program on Immunization, ensuring equitable vaccine access
  • 99.9% reduction in worldwide polio cases since Rotary’s first project in the Philippines in 1979

With so much mis-information being spread on social media about the safety of vaccines, this is a good time for Rotarians to build on the goodwill developed through our ongoing PolioPlus campaign. You can play an important role by:

  • using Rotary’s success to raise awareness about the fact that vaccines work
  • giving examples of what Rotary and our partners have accomplished in reducing polio cases worldwide
  • downloading and using the World Immunization Week toolkit
  • using club and district meetings as an opportunity for members to learn about Rotary’s polio eradication efforts
  • hosting an awareness and fundraising event
  • starting an online fundraiser using Raise for Rotary