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Vaccination Week draws attention to the fact that vaccination protects throughout life – Public Health Agency

Vaccination Week draws attention to the fact that vaccination protects throughout life – Public Health Agency

This year, the World Health Organization's global vaccination program celebrates 50 years. The program has contributed to saving millions of lives around the world, and in Sweden it is estimated that childhood vaccination has prevented about one and a half million cases of measles, whooping cough, mumps and polio.

Vaccination Week takes place during the last week of April and draws attention to the fact that the global vaccination program Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) is celebrating 50 years and that vaccinations are essential throughout life. The World Health Organization started the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) to give children access to vaccines – regardless of where they are in the world and their socioeconomic status.

The benefit of vaccinations throughout life is of great importance here in Sweden. New cases of the highly contagious measles, which can cause serious complications, are a reminder once again how important vaccinations are to prevent the spread of infection. In Sweden, vaccination coverage is high, providing good protection, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination programs have been weakened in many countries. Fewer children were vaccinated, and consequently more children contracted measles and other diseases.

Global developments highlight the importance of taking care of the resource that vaccinations represent, and Vaccination Week is an opportunity to feel proud and grateful that we in Sweden are in a good position in this field. We also want to remind you that vaccinations, by preventing the spread of infection in society, mean protecting the most vulnerable groups, when the people around them are vaccinated. It also helps those who cannot vaccinate themselves due to their young age, cancer treatment or other aggravating circumstances, says Soren Andersson, head of the Public Health Agency's Immunization Programs Unit.

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Vaccination is important throughout life

In Sweden, there are good opportunities for everyone to protect themselves from serious infectious diseases and many forms of cancer with the help of vaccination. Lifelong protection begins with the national vaccination program for children, and then continues with the recommended vaccinations provided to adults by region of the country. It is estimated that Sweden's childhood vaccination program has prevented about 1.5 million cases of measles, whooping cough, mumps and polio since vaccination against these diseases began. HPV vaccination provides protection against several types of cancer that affect both women and men, and is estimated to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer by 90 percent.

New information materials on vaccination

To mark Vaccination Week, Public Health has released new web pages and a poster containing clear information about the recommended vaccinations for adults. Since before, there is also a lot of information aimed at children and adults alike. For those who work for companies that vaccinate, the Authority has useful guides and training materials.

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