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COVID-19 pandemic leads to major backsliding in childhood vaccinations — Data

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COVID-19 pandemic leads to major backsliding in childhood vaccinations — Data

By Franca Ofili

New data released Thursday by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) shows that 23 million children have not received basic childhood vaccines through health services. routine health in 2020.

The data, which shows the figure is the highest since 2009 and 3.7 million more than in 2019, indicates that this is the latest set of comprehensive global childhood immunization figures and the first figures officials to reflect global service disruptions due to COVID-19.

He notes that the majority of countries have seen a drop in childhood immunization rates in 2020, adding that as many as 17 million children likely did not receive a single vaccine during the year, widening inequalities already. immense in access to the vaccine.

Data indicates that most of these children live in conflict-affected communities, in remote, underserved places, or in informal settings or slums where they face multiple deprivations, including limited access to health services. base and key social services.

He notes that “as countries demand COVID-19 vaccines, we have backed down on other vaccinations, leaving children at risk for devastating but preventable diseases like measles, polio or meningitis.

“In all regions, an increasing number of children are missing the first life-saving doses of vaccine in 2020; millions more miss subsequent vaccines.

“Disruptions in immunization services were widespread in 2020, with WHO for South East Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean
Most affected regions.

“Compared to the 2019 figure, an additional 3.5 million children missed their first dose of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP-1) vaccine,
while three million more missed the first dose of measles.

“This evidence should be a clear warning that the COVID-19 pandemic and related disruption has cost us valuable ground that we cannot afford to lose. The consequences will be paid in the lives and well-being of the most vulnerable. “

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus also said multiple epidemics would be catastrophic for communities and health systems already struggling with COVID-19, making it more urgent than ever to invest in immunization of children and ensuring that every child is
reached.

He added that “even before the pandemic, there were worrying signs that we were starting to lose ground in the fight to immunize children against preventable childhood diseases, including the widespread measles epidemics two years ago.”

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore also said that “the pandemic has made a bad situation worse.

“With the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines at the forefront of everyone’s mind, we must remember that the distribution of vaccines has always been inequitable, but it is not necessary. “(NAA)

(NAN)

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