European Immunization Week 2023 “Door to door” campaign in North Macedonia
07 June 2023
In the WHO European Region as elsewhere, un- and under-vaccinated people remain at risk of contracting preventable diseases like measles, diphtheria and polio.
European Immunization Week (EIW) is a pillar in what the World Health Organization is calling the year of ‘The Big Catch Up’ in which we are addressing a concerning decline in childhood vaccination rates across the world. Much of this decline can be attributed to impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but as we continue to fight the consequences of this devastating disease, it is important that we do not lose ground in our efforts to control and eliminate other vaccine-preventable diseases.
In the WHO European Region as elsewhere, un- and under-vaccinated people remain at risk of contracting preventable diseases like measles, diphtheria and polio. Public health systems must therefore remain vigilant to track and trace any cases of vaccine-preventable diseases, and we must remind the people of this Region that every vaccine and vaccine dose counts to save lives, protect ourselves, and protect those we love.
In North Macedonia, WHO has worked together with the Ministry of Health, National Immunization Committee, the Institute of Public Health, Centers of Public Health, and local Health Centers which are providing immunization services, but also with the support of other UN partners to identify under-immunized groups and expand equitable access to COVID-19 and routine vaccinations.
Building on past successes, WHO is launching a novel initiative to address this issue by increasing the outreach for vaccination services at local level via door-to-door on-spot vaccination enhancing the accessibility and coverage rates through deployment of mobile vaccination teams across the country and dissemination of evidence-based informational materials on immunization.
As part of this year’s WHO nation-wide campaign, а five week long “Door to door” caravan started on 24 April 2023 to address the traditionally low immunization in particular areas of the country. More than 30 medical teams are visiting families in over 120 settlements where marginalized communities live. Citizens are being informed about the health benefits of regular immunization and are at the same time offered on-the-spot COVID-19 vaccination.
“In North Macedonia, WHO and all partners have worked together to identify under-immunized groups and expand equitable access to COVID-19 and routine vaccinations,” concludes Goran Kochinski, National Professional Officer for Immunization, WHO Country Office in North Macedonia.
WHO, and other partners, we will overcome the obstacles brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the progress we have made in each country and the Region in protecting children and adults from life-threatening diseases will continue so that no one will be left behind.