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UNICEF vaccinates almost half the world's children under five, every year.  

Children are naturally resilient against the thousands of germs that they’re exposed to every day. Yet, there are some deadly diseases like measles, polio, tetanus, tuberculosis, diphtheria and whooping cough that they can’t fight, and their only defence are life-saving vaccines.  

Vaccines save up to three million children a year, and some diseases such as Wild Poliovirus, are close to being eradicated, with cases having decreased by over 99 per cent since 1988. Although we’ve been supporting the global push to vaccinate the world against COVID-19, we haven't forgotten routine immunisation, because without these vaccines, millions of children are at risk. 

Alongside our global partners, we’re working to vaccinate children, here in Asia Pacific and around the world, because every child deserves the same protection against preventable diseases.  

Health care worker giving oral vaccine© UNICEF/UN0292470/Holt

Improving Papua New Guinea's immunisation coverage

With only 47 per cent of children under one having received their completed immunisations doses, Papua New Guinea has one of the world's lowest immunisation coverages. We’re working to improve immunisation coverage in PNG and around the world by purchasing vaccines, training health workers, improving vaccine storage and transportation systems, and building trust in the communities to seek timely vaccinations.  

Delivering vaccines to those in need in the hardest to reach places 

Women and children living in remote areas, experiencing poverty, those with a disability, or who are in an emergency setting are especially likely to be cut off from life-saving vaccines, leaving them at greater risk of disease. 

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has put a huge strain on health systems around the world as well as logistics and supply chains. It also created a perfect storm for other disease outbreaks. With health systems under pressure, our work to immunise children is even more essential. 

At a local level, UNICEF Australia is committed to supporting critical, underfunded programs, here in Australia and in our neighbouring countries; Cambodia, Laos, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Burundi, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and the Pacific Islands. This work is made possible thanks to generous supporters like you, as well as the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

"I worked on the polio eradication program in Cambodia in the 1990s. The disease was endemic, leaving kids paralysed. We worked with local parents and carers, where there can be issues of trust around vaccines, to explain their importance. Because of this successful community engagement, we reached children with vaccinations in every community and village in Cambodia. In five years, polio was eradicated."

Photo of Chris Maher AO
Chris Maher AO
UNICEF Australia’s Senior Vaccine Adviser

2 to 3 m

Vaccination saves 2 to 3 million children each year from deadly diseases.


The number of children paralyzed by polio has fallen by over 99 per cent since 1988.

Vaccine delivery by drone

Meet Beatriz, a health care worker in Liquica, Timor-Leste.© UNICEF/UN0396083/Cook Junior

Meet Beatriz, a health care worker in Liquica, Timor-Leste.

 She oversees maternal and child health services in three health centres. 

The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on UNICEF’s health programs in Timor-Leste, with many children missing out on their immunisations. In response, we worked with the country’s Ministry of Health and more than 6,000 healthcare workers, like Beatriz, to help the recovery of immunisation rates and services for pregnant mothers.  

“As a mother and a healthcare worker, I know how important it is to have antenatal care and have children vaccinated against preventable diseases,” says Beatriz. 

Help us vaccinate the world's children

We’re working to immunise the world’s children against preventable and deadly diseases.

Baby and health care worker in Cook Islands
© UNICEF/UN0634529/Sosene