Global disease elimination and eradication

Vaccinations are saving millions of lives each year. But a lack of access to vaccinations or reduced vaccination rates and a public health threat can quickly evolve into an outbreak, epidemic or, as COVID-19 demonstrates, a pandemic.

In 2010, hopeful that improved access to vaccines in every community worldwide would reduce vaccine-preventable deaths, the global health community called for “The Decade of Vaccines”, an ambitious goal for “A world in which all individuals and communities enjoy lives free from vaccine-preventable diseases”. [i] The goal became action through the Global Vaccine Action Plan, led by the World Health Organization (WHO), and endorsed at the World Health Assembly in 2012.[ii]

Over the Decade of Vaccines, foundations were built for future vaccination strategies [iii]. In 2015, two of the three wild polio viruses were declared eradicated, an achievement that had taken 60 years to accomplish. While measles vaccinations improved, an outbreak in 2017 reminded the world how quickly disease spreads in unvaccinated communities and what potential threat that spread could have on global health. By the end of the decade, WHO reported that vaccination rates had plateaued.

In 2020 a new threat to public health put vaccination in the spotlight. Vaccine research and development to combat the COVID-19 pandemic became the highest priority. Today, the world is still learning to navigate life while wearing face masks, avoiding infection in lockdowns, quarantine and home isolation.

That change in behaviour has impacted global immunisation coverage, declining from 86 per cent in 2019 to 83 per cent in 2020.[iv]

The WHO strategy for immunisation for the decade ahead, the “Immunization Agenda 2030: A global strategy to leave no one behind”, faces critical challenges. COVID-19 has added a new level of urgency to the issue of global immunisation coverage and made vaccination access for every community in the world more important than ever.

[i] WHO Global Vaccination Action Plan, Secretariat Annual Report 2018,

[ii] WHO Global Vaccination Action Plan, Secretariat Annual Report 2018,

[iii] Noni MacDonald, Ezzeddine Mohsni, Yagob Al-Mazrou, Jon Kim Andrus, Narendra Arora, Susan Elden, Marie-Yvette Madrid, Rebecca Martin, Amani Mahmoud Mustafa, Helen Rees, David Salisbury, Qinjian Zhao, Ian Jones, Christoph A. Steffen, Joachim Hombach, Katherine L. O’Brien, Alejandro Cravioto,

Global vaccine action plan lessons learned I: Recommendations for the next decade,

Vaccine,Volume 38, Issue 33, 2020,, accessed 30/07/21.

[iv] WHO, Immunization coverage,


Egyptian mummy, Louvre Museum, Paris, France. Source: Teekay187

Lab worker, 1955. Source: Immunization (Second edition) by Encyclopaedia Britannica Films

Female lab worker swiping infectious disease from petri dish.
Source: PublicDomainFootage for Kingsland

Slow motion people wearing face masks walking in pedestrian walkway during Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, Bangkok, Thailand, 7 April 2020. Source: Urbanscape

Syringe with needle in vial taking in vaccine. Source: WK Production for Kingsland

Woman trekker trying to reach mountain peak before sundown. Source: Airstock

Slow motion waving flag of World Health Organization (WHO). Source: Novikov Aleksey

A medical worker inoculates woman with a Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine at village in Kolhapur, India, 31 July 2021. Source: manoejp7

Female doctor prepares arm of boy to make injection. Source: Paha_L

UNESCO world heritage building of Mumbai CST railway station behind public polio awareness board in India. Source: GetMyStock

Masked red-head female nurse giving an injection to a female patient at a hospital.
Source: Gorodenkoff

A medical worker in safety equipment vaccinating a masked female patient at a clinic.
Source: Gorodenkoff

Parents play with their children on the playground. Source: sedletsky

Vaccinations for children, Bangkok Children’s Discovery Museum, 14 July 2015. Source: tiniroma

Medical Clinic in Kenya, dealing with Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health. Source: happycamel

People use face masks to protect from Coronavirus in Knez Mihailova street, the main pedestrian shopping zone in the city of Belgrade. Source: NelsonAntoine

People enjoying surfing and standing in shallow sea at beautiful golden sunset in surf town Byron Bay. Source: Airstock



Uplifting Optimistic (Piano) – Inspirational Build With Drums. Source: RickyValadez



Video editor: Grace O’Connell


This video is intended for educational purposes only and not for commercial profit. All images and footage have been selected to represent a concept or time in history and have been chosen to be as accurate as possible.

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