COVID-19 Pandemic Causes Major Reduction In Childhood Vaccinations

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Twenty-three million children missed out on basic vaccines through routine immunization services in 2020 – 3.7 million more than in 2019, according to official data published last week by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF.

The first official figures to reflect global service disruptions due to COVID-19, show a majority of countries last year experienced drops in childhood vaccination rates.

Most of these – up to 17 million children – likely did not receive a single vaccine during the year, widening already immense inequities in vaccine access.

Most of these children live in communities affected by conflict, in under-served remote places, or in informal or slum settings where they face multiple deprivations including limited access to basic health and key social services, a release on PAHO’s official website disclosed.

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The release quoted the Director General of WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, as saying that even as countries clamour to get their hands on COVID-19 vaccines, the world has gone backwards on other vaccinations.

He observed that as a result, children at risk from devastating but preventable diseases like measles, polio or meningitis.

The WHO Director-General warned that multiple disease outbreaks would be catastrophic for communities and health systems already battling COVID-19, making it more urgent than ever to invest in childhood vaccination and ensure every child is reached.

 

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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