Bristol is supporting the World Health Organization’s (WHO) World Immunisation Week with this year’s theme “Vaccines Bring Us Closer”.
Within a year of COVID-19 emerging, global science had produced an effective vaccine. To date, almost 200,000 people have received one or more doses of the life-saving COVID-19 vaccine in Bristol, helping the city cautiously ease restrictions and take one step at a time to get back to the things we love.
Christina Gray, Director for Communities and Public Health said: “Immunisation has a long history of saving millions of lives every year and has brought us closer to a world without the threat of dangerous diseases such as smallpox, polio and TB. Vaccines are a critical tool in our battle against COVID-19, alongside regular testing, effective outbreak management and prevention work.
“Vaccines have already brought us closer to the things we love and will continue to bring us closer again as the vaccination roll-out continues to pick up pace. The process is very quick and easy, and I encourage everyone to please take up the offer, when it’s your turn.”
Dr Tim Whittlestone, Clinical Lead for the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Vaccination Programme said: “We are so fortunate to live in the UK, with an NHS that has responded to the challenges of COVID vaccination, but there are many parts of the world that will simply not cope. I urge everyone to take up the offer of their COVID-19 vaccination when they become eligible; World Immunisation Week is an opportunity for us to reflect and recognise the privileged position we occupy in terms of our vaccination programme.”
After clean water, vaccination has been recognised as the most effective public health intervention in the world. Over the last 100 years, the UK has proved to be a world leader in providing life-saving vaccines for diseases such as meningitis, diphtheria, measles and polio. Much of this success is as a result of the rigorous and ongoing testing procedures that vaccines, including COVID-19, are subject to in the UK.
Immunisation saves millions of lives every year, however, there are still nearly 20 million children in the world today who are not getting the vaccines they need.
Visit the WHO website for more information about World Immunisation Week.
For more information about vaccination or to find out if you’re eligible to book your jab, visit the NHS website.