WHO-UNICEF data on Child Vaccination

WHO & UNICEF recently released its data on Child Vaccination. As per report, India registered largest decrease in routine childhood immunization coverage in 2020.

Highlights

  • India is followed by Pakistan and Indonesia.
  • This is the first official figures that reflected global service disruptions because of covid-19.
  • As per data, majority of countries experienced drops in childhood vaccination rates in 2020.

Key Findings

  • As per data of WHO & UNICEF, middle-income countries account for an increasing number of unprotected children.
  • India is experiencing a large drop. India’s DTP-3 coverage (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis vaccine coverage) has fell down from 91% to 85%.
  • In WHO’s region of Americas, only 82% of the children are fully vaccinated with DTP last year. This figure was at 91 % in 2016. This decrease was the result of funding shortfalls, vaccine misinformation etc.
  • In all, 23 million children missed out on basic vaccines under routine immunization services in 2020. Out of them, 17 million children did not receive a single vaccine.
  • Disruptions in immunization services were widespread in 2020. Southeast Asian and Eastern Mediterranean Regions were most affected due to disruptions.

Why vaccine inequities surged?

As per report, most of the missed-out children live in communities affected by conflict across under-served remote places or in informal or slum settings. In these areas, they face multiple deprivations like limited access to basic health and key social services. Reason being this, vaccine inequities surged further. Covid-19 pandemic made situation worse.

Failing WHO’s target

Before covid-19 pandemic, global childhood vaccination rates against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles and polio were stagnant for several years at 86%, well below 95% as recommended by WHO to protect against measles.

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