Dear Colleagues and Friends,
It has been 12 years since a group of Pediatricians and vaccine enthusiasts in the Asia Pacific region started to organise and develop activities to raise awareness on the value of vaccination and sustain vaccine confidence. We were then seeing how vaccine complacency was starting to emerge due to the disappearance of vaccine-preventable diseases in the region. Polio was gone and measles was on the verge of elimination, while diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus were significantly decreasing.
Now, in the midst of a pandemic and with the knowledge that childhood Immunisation in the Era of Pandemics, there is an urgent call for every sector of society, both public and private, as well as national and international agencies, to work together to save lives. According to a recent UNICEF report, there are 20 million children unvaccinated or undervaccinated in the world today. This is mostly due to the COVID19 pandemic coupled with an emerging loss of vaccine confidence and some confusion knowing where to get vaccinated. It is with this objective of putting vaccination at the forefront of health delivery to reduce morbidity and mortality from vaccine-preventable diseases. We are asking all of you, health care workers and professionals as well as policymakers and health enthusiasts, to join us in planning and strategising towards the achievement of greater vaccine accessibility and vaccine resilience.
We welcome your ideas and suggestions to ensure that all our health care systems will be better equipped with the knowledge and skills to implement immunization programmes. There is a need to give facts and evidence based on science and show best practices of countries, especially in the Asia Pacific region. We invite those with expertise and studies to show us how to deal with our present situation and continue our fight against vaccine-preventable diseases.
Please join us in our next Asian Vaccine Conference led by its over-all chair Dr. H.T. Wickramasinghe and his team from Sri Lanka. They have done such a remarkable job on their immunization programmes. Let us all get-together and do something for the public good! This is our mission...
Take care and stay safe!
Prof Emeritus LULU C BRAVO
Immunization Partners in Asia Pacific (IPAP)