WASHINGTON — Six years ago, 194 countries signed on to the Global Vaccine Action Plan, an international campaign to provide children and adults around the world with access to life-saving vaccines.
The goal of the program is to prevent millions of people from getting vaccine-preventable diseases by the time it ends in 2020. The idea is to provide universal access to vaccines to protect people of all ages, from the very young to the very old.
Dr. Flavia Bustreo, is the assistant director-general for Family, Women’s and Children’s Health at the World Health Organization.
“Immunization and vaccines are the most powerful public health tools that we have currently, “ she said.
Millions of children saved
Bustreo says 35 years ago, 13 million children lost their lives from diseases that could be prevented by vaccines.
She says that number has been reduced to 6 million, but 6 million is still too high.
Today, 85 percent of children are vaccinated against measles and other deadly diseases, but Bustreo says more children need these vaccines.