WHO, UNICEF Sound Alarm As Pandemic Leads Largest Fall In Kids Vaccinations In 30 Years

  • According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 25 million children worldwide missed routine vaccinations in 2021 in 30 years.
  • That is two million more children than in 2020 when COVID-19 caused lockdowns worldwide and six million more than pre-pandemic in 2019.
  • 18 million of the 25 million children did not receive a single dose of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTP) during the year, the vast majority of whom live in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Globally, coverage fell by 5% to 81% last year.
  • Among countries1 with the largest relative increases in the number of children who did not receive a single vaccine between 2019 and 2021 are Myanmar and Mozambique.
  • "If we don't catch up on vaccinations quickly and urgently, we will inevitably witness more outbreaks," said UNICEF's Ephrem Tekle Lemango, saying Yemen and Afghanistan were among countries with large and disruptive measles outbreaks in recent months.
  • In 2021, the data showed that 24.7 million children missed their first dose of the measles vaccine, and a further 14.7 million did not get the essential second dose. Coverage was 81%, the lowest since 2008.
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