Global Health – Child Immunization
20 million children missed out on lifesaving measles, diphtheria and tetanus vaccines in 2018
New estimates find dangerous stagnation of global vaccination rates, due to conflict, inequality and complacency
NEW YORK/GENEVA, 15 July 2019 – 20 million children worldwide – more than 1 in 10 – missed out on lifesaving vaccines such as measles, diphtheria and tetanus in 2018, according to new data from WHO and UNICEF.
Globally, since 2010, vaccination coverage with three doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP3) and one dose of the measles vaccine has stalled at around 86 per cent. While high, this is not sufficient. 95 per cent coverage is needed – globally, across countries, and communities – to protect against outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.
“Vaccines are one of our most important tools for preventing outbreaks and keeping the world safe,” said Director-General of the World Health Organization Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “While most children today are being vaccinated, far too many are left behind. Unacceptably, it’s often those who are most at risk– the poorest, the most marginalized, those touched by conflict or forced from their homes – who are persistently missed,” he said.
Most unvaccinated children live in the poorest countries and are disproportionately in fragile or conflict-affected states. Almost half are in just 16 countries – Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen…