Covid disrupts childhood immunization

At least 23 million children worldwide missed out on basic vaccines through routine immunization services in 2020.

New findings from the World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have shown.

According to the two organizations the number of children missed has increased with 3.7 million more than in 2019.

The latest figures on childhood immunization have indicated that the Covid-19 pandemic has led to major lapses on childhood vaccinations worldwide.

In a recent report by UNICEF and WHO has indicated that up to 17 million children likely did not receive a single vaccine during the year, widening the already huge inequalities in vaccine access.

The findings further indicate that 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.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said; “Even as countries call to get their hands on COVID-19 vaccines, we have gone backwards on other vaccinations, leaving children at risk from devastating but preventable diseases like measles, polio or meningitis.”

On the other hand UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, said; “This evidence should be a clear warning – the COVID-19 pandemic and related disruptions cost us valuable ground we cannot afford to lose – and the consequences will be paid in the lives and wellbeing of the most vulnerable.”

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