Immunization is one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century. Not only does vaccination reduce death and disability from an increasing number of diseases, studies have shown that it also increases life expectancy and contributes to a more productive workforce.
Routine Immunization services are a cornerstone of the health system—a basic public good that virtually all governments provide to their populations. Routine services are the foundation of other immunization efforts, including:
- Specific disease control initiatives
- The introduction of new vaccines
- Periodic campaigns to improve vaccination coverage
They are also the primary way to reach new generations of children as early in life as possible, preventing disease and protecting individuals and communities from premature death and suffering. Routine immunization services are often the first— and sometimes only— interaction that poor families have with preventive health services. They are a largely untapped opportunity for addressing other health needs.