Four immunization innovations that are saving children's lives

Seven-month-old Alinamda and her immunization card at the Mbekweni Clinic in Paarl, South Africa.

Story highlights

  • The theme of this year's World Immunization Week is Close the Immunization Gap
  • 1.5 million children around the world don't receive the life-saving vaccines they need
  • New approaches to old problems are yielding fresh tools to fight vaccine-preventable diseases

Dr. Orin Levine is director of vaccine delivery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

(CNN)One of the things I like most about spring is that my 52-week-a-year job gets extra attention for one full week: World Immunization Week.

Each year, the World Health Organization uses the last week of April to turn attention to saving lives through immunization.
    This year, the week's theme is Close the Immunization Gap, centering on the need to reach the 1.5 million children who still don't receive the life-saving vaccines they need. Though reaching every child on the planet is ambitious, we know it makes communities healthier and stronger and, most important, saves and improves the lives of people everywhere.
    What will it take to realize this aspirat