Child vaccinations, the largest drop in the last 30 years, Unicef-WHO data

The alarm comes from Unicef-WHO data: we are ahead largest decline in vaccinations in the last thirty years. The causes are partly related to COVID-19 who probably has swallowed all the attention on himself, but not only. The decrease is also related to the increase in the number of children living in conflict and fragility contexts, where access to vaccinations is often difficult. But directly or indirectly, the biggest culprit remains the pandemic, for disruptions to services and the supply chain, for redirecting resources to pandemic response activities, and for containment measures that have limited access and availability.

But the pandemic cannot be a reason to do less, experts warn concerned: “Planning and managing COVID-19 should go hand in hand with vaccination against deadly diseases such as measles, pneumonia and diarrhea,” he said. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO. “It’s not a question of one or the other, it is possible to do both.”

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Coverage for the first dose of measles fell to 81% in 2021, the lowest level since 2008. This means that 24.7 million children did not receive their first dose of measles vaccine in 2021, 5.3 million more than in 2019. A further 14 , 7 million did not receive the required second dose.

Similarly compared to 2019, 6.7 million more children did not receive the third dose of polio vaccine and 3.5 million did not receive the first dose of the HPV vaccinewhich protects girls against cervical cancer in old age.

Globally, more than a quarter of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine coverage obtained in 2019 has been lost. This has serious consequences for the health of women and girls, as the global coverage of the first dose of HPV vaccine is only 15%, despite the fact that the first vaccines were approved over 15 years ago.

A historic setback – WHO defines it – that occurs in the context of a context of rapid increase in the number of serious acute malnutrition. A malnourished child has already weakened immunity – points out the World Health Organization – and lack of vaccinations can cause common childhood diseases to quickly become fatal for him. The convergence of a hunger crisis and a growing vaccine shortage threaten to create the conditions for a crisis for children’s survival.

The role of the school

The request to all countries is the of increase recovery vaccination efforts, to address the delays in routine vaccination and to expand the dissemination services in the less populated areas to reach missing children and to carry out campaigns to prevent epidemics which – we remember – often find their outbreaks in school classes. Therefore, a push aimed at the school should be started again build confidence in vaccines and vaccinations, counteract disinformation And increase the prevalence of vaccinesespecially among vulnerable communities.

UNICEF / WHO DATA

  • 25 million children in 2021 alone did not receive one or more doses of DTP from routine vaccination services, 2 million more than those who skipped vaccination in 2020 and 6 million more than in 2019.
  • Coverage for the first dose of measles fell to 81% in 2021, the lowest level since 2008. This means that 24.7 million children did not receive their first dose of measles vaccine in 2021, 5.3 million more than in 2019. A further 14 , 7 million did not receive the required second dose.
  • Compared to 2019, 6.7 million more children did not receive the third dose of the polio vaccine, and 3.5 million did not receive the first dose of the HPV vaccine.

La percentage of children who received three doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine (DTP3) – an indicator of vaccination coverage used both in and between countries – decreased by 5 percentage points between 2019 and 2021 and reached 81%.

25 million children in 2021 alone did not receive one or more doses of DTP from routine vaccination services. That is 2 million more than those who skipped vaccination in 2020 and 6 million more than in 2019highlighting the growing number of children at risk for terrible but preventable diseases.

18 of the 25 million children did not receive a single dose of DTP during the year, most of whom live in low- and middle-income countries with India, Nigeria, Indonesia, Ethiopia and the Philippines which registers the highest numbers. Among the countries with the largest relative increase in the number of children not receiving any vaccines between 2019 and 2021 are Myanmar and Mozambique.

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