Featured Issues

The VoICE Featured Issues are created to update and inform the global child health & immunization advocacy community and health-related communications stakeholders about contemporary topics where immunizations intersect with health and economics. The VoICE editors follow a topic through different sectors and with different perspectives, to outline its linkages to vaccination and broader development ideas. These features also serve as an illustration of how evidence-based messages, backed by credible data, can be used to communicate important immunization and health benefit messages to the global community. We will often publish these features in preparation for upcoming advocacy events or campaigns.

Equity and Immunization: Shrinking the Gaps

Although more children than at any point in history are now protected against vaccine-preventable diseases, millions of zero-dose children are still missing out on the life-saving benefits of immunization entirely. These children often live in the world’s most marginalized communities where inequities are clustered and compounded by poverty, geography, gender, and conflict. In order to keep making progress against preventable deaths and illness, leaders will need to integrate equity across global, national, and sub-national immunization strategies.

Maternal Immunization: Protected Together

Maternal immunization is a promising strategy for protecting mothers, the developing fetus, and young infants during a particularly vulnerable time in their lives – especially in low- and middle-income countries where morbidity and mortality among women and their children is high. During pregnancy, vaccines allow antibodies from the mother to cross into the placenta, protecting moms and their babies from life-threatening illnesses.

Possibilities: The Far-Reaching Benefits of Immunization

The story of immunization is often headlined with the remarkable health benefits—millions of lives saved, and illnesses and hospitalizations prevented. But the true impact of vaccination is even more far-reaching, touching many areas of people’s lives from supporting early childhood growth and development to improving educational outcomes and productivity, promoting economic stability, and helping to address equity gaps: It’s seemingly impossible to undersell the importance of vaccination.

This World Immunization Week, the VoICE editors highlight some of the broader benefits of immunization—not only helping to prevent illness and save lives, but also promoting healthy development, productivity, economic stability, and equity for all.

World Immunization Week 2020 Social Media Toolkit

World Immunization Week 2020 (April 24-30) is an opportunity for immunization advocates across the world to promote the value of vaccines for protecting people of all ages against preventable diseases. Our VoICE social media toolkit provides messaging on the vital role that vaccines play in global health. Beyond saving millions of lives every year #VaccinesWork For All by strengthening our health care systems, protecting global health security, shrinking equity gaps, and more.

Join us in promoting the message that #VaccinesWork For All by sharing the evidence on the broad benefits of immunization!

Special edition: Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines in the global fight against child pneumonia

Pneumonia is responsible for more than 800,000 under-5 deaths each year—claiming a child’s life every 39 seconds. Vaccines against pneumococcus, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), pertussis, measles, and influenza are important to help protect children from disease and prevent the lasting health, equity, and socioeconomic effects of pneumonia. This week, country leaders, scientific experts, program and policy officials, and advocates from around the world will meet in Barcelona to elevate pneumonia on national and global health agendas and raise the call for action against this common, serious, preventable cause of child illness and death.

Vaccination: Helping children think, learn and thrive

A healthy child is more likely to attend school, performs better in school and attends school for longer than a child who is often ill or has suffered permanent disabilities as a result of illness. In this Feature, VoICE explores how vaccine-preventable infections affect cognitive development and schooling, and highlights evidence of the effect vaccination can have in protecting a child’s neurologic development, educational prospects and ultimately, future productivity.

Outbreak feature

Vaccine-preventable Outbreaks: Becoming All Too Common and Costly

From Abuja to Atlanta, recent infectious disease outbreaks have all too commonly captured the regular news headlines. In this Featured Issue on vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks, the VoICE team goes past the headline, down to the fine print. We bring you an evidence-backed overview of vaccine-preventable infectious disease outbreaks worldwide, with a special focus on the circumstances that increase the likelihood of an outbreak, the less-obvious health and economic consequences, and a “top five” list for outbreak prevention and preparedness.

World Immunization Week 2019

Social Media Toolkit

Using evidence for advocacy: Visit the 2019 World Immunization Week social media toolkit! Explore our messages, graphics, and gifs illustrating how #VaccinesWork to keep us #ProtectedTogether. Topics include:

  • #ProtectedTogether: Herd immunity
  • #ProtectedTogether: Mothers and babies
  • #ProtectedTogether: Family-level economic protection
  • #ProtectedTogether: Country-level economic protection
  • #ProtectedTogether: Strengthening health systems
Humanitarian emergency refugee setting in Cox's Bazar, depicting tents, makeshift homes, and refugees

Critical but complex: Vaccination during conflict and forced migration

Conflict and forced migration – resulting in disruption of communities and health systems – amplify the risk factors for infectious disease and increase the urgency of preventive measures such as immunization. While disease outbreaks of measles, cholera, meningitis and even polio in refugee camps may be the most widely covered issues related to immunization in conflict-affected areas and populations, this VoICE Featured Issue explores some of the less-visible, but equally critical aspects. Immunizations play an important role in these settings, considering the threat of malnutrition and antimicrobial resistance, economic pressures, and the urgent need for responsive policies.

The unyielding impact of childhood diarrhea

Despite tremendous global progress, diarrhea remains the second leading infectious cause of under-5 deaths, taking a child’s life almost every minute. Although diarrhea can seem like a common, simple childhood ailment in many places, a single episode of diarrhea can be serious, even deadly, and have severe economic implications for families and communities. Advocates play a critical role in ensuring evidence-based diarrhea prevention and control programs and policies are a top priority globally and in the countries where this disease is most prolific.