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The World Health Organization (WHO) leads and coordinates issues pertaining to international health. WHO consists of 194 member countries and is organized into six regions:
The work of the WHO is carried out by experts working with health officials in regional and local offices of countries in which they are employed, and by an extensive network of laboratories around the globe. These offices and labs confirm cases of disease, track changes to viruses and bacteria, track movement of diseases throughout the world, coordinate disease control efforts and monitor the success of interventions, such as vaccine programs.
Several different types of vaccine programs are available. The best method of delivering vaccines varies depending on geography, disease prevalence and culture. Vaccine coverage for a population can be accomplished by:
The measure of success for different vaccine programs may vary, depending on the disease, geographic location and maturity of the vaccine program:
Vaccine schedules vary from country to country and sometimes even within countries. These differences can include which vaccines are recommended, who should get them, when they are given, and how many doses are needed. There are several reasons for this variation:
The World Health Organization recommends the following vaccines for all children and adolescents:
Several vaccines are recommended for some regions or populations. The WHO has several summary tables available for reference.
The WHO also offers a useful tool for vaccine schedules around the world. You can view information based upon country or region, vaccine (referred to as "antigen") or both.
Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.
You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.