20 million children missed out on crucial vaccines in 2018

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New data from WHO and UNICEF has estimated that 20 million children across the globe, equating to one in ten, missed out on crucial vaccines such as diphtheria, measles and tetanus in 2018.

Vaccination rates have been stagnating – since 2010 coverage of the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP3) and measles vaccination rates have plateaued at approximately 86%, short of the 95% coverage required to protect against outbreaks.

The new data suggests that most unvaccinated children live in lower-resource countries and are disproportionately in fragile or conflict-afflicted areas. Almost half of the children missing out on vaccines were discovered to be in 16 countries, including Yemen, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan and Iraq.

However, with regards to measles disparities in vaccine access persisted across countries of all income levels. The WHO report that in 2018 this led to almost 350,00o measles cases globally, over double the case load seen in 2017.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, concluded: “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.”

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Source: www.who.int/immunization/monitoring_surveillance/data/en/

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