ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The week of April 24-30 is World Immunization Week.

Dr. Colleen Fogarty, the Chair of the University of Rochester Department of Family Medicine, said immunization — or vaccination — is one of the most important public health interventions in the modern era Tuesday during News 8 at Sunrise.

What is immunization, exactly?

Vaccines are introduced safely into a person’s body (these can be by mouth, or by injection, depending on the vaccination) and they cause the body to build up immunity, or resistance, to the disease agent.

What is a “vaccine-preventable disease?”

Vaccine-preventable diseases are those diseases that have an effective immunization to prevent the onset or the severity of the condition. There are now over 20 diseases that can be prevented by vaccination. Examples include—diphtheria, tetanus, influenza, measles, and polio.

Every year, the use and administration of these vaccines prevent 2-3 million deaths worldwide. And contributes to the health of persons. For example, polio was once a worldwide condition causing paralysis in many people who were infected. The US has been free of new cases of polio since 1979, thanks to a successful vaccination program that continues to this day.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a decline around the world in children and others receiving vaccines, mostly because of decreased access to healthcare services.

During this World Immunization Week, I encourage you to think about yourself and your family members. What vaccines are you eligible for? Talk to your pharmacist or primary care health team.

For adult vaccines, check here:

For childhood vaccines, up to age 18, check here: