How slowing down vaccination will affect the world’s children

April 24-30 marks World Immunization Week

Published: Wednesday 28 April 2021

Vaccination across the world, especially in poor countries have been disrupted because of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). According to the World Health Organization, millions of children remain vulnerable to deadly diseases.

April 24-30, 2021 is marked as the World Immunization Week by WHO, UNICEF, and Gavi the Vaccine Alliance. But according to a WHO survey, 37 per cent of the respondent countries could not carry out routine vaccination. At least 60 mass immunization campaigns in 50 countries have been currently postponed. Half of these countries are in Africa.

Because of this 228 million people, mostly children, are at risk for diseases like measles, yellow fever, and polio. 23 of these postponed campaigns are against measles, one of the most contagious diseases.

This has led to measles outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan and Yemen. UNICEF was only able to deliver 2.01 billion vaccine doses in 2020, compared to 2.29 billion in 2019 due to COVID-19.

Read: WHO, Unicef target to avoid 50 million vaccine-preventable infections this decade


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