‘Collective Support’ For Vaccines Must Continue, Improve In 2018 To Further Success Of Disease Prevention, Elimination

Devex: Opinion: What 2017 taught us about vaccines
Chris Elias, president of the Global Development Program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…In 2017, we saw the power of what vaccines can accomplish, as well as what can happen when they fail to reach every child, every person, everywhere. … We are reaching more people than ever with vaccines, and global vaccine coverage — the proportion of the world’s children who receive recommended vaccines — is at the highest it has ever been, at 86 percent. That sounds impressive, and it is, but it’s not good enough. We still face major challenges, including the fact that coverage rates have stalled in recent years. … As we head into the new year, we need to harness this collective support for vaccines so that no child has to suffer or die from a preventable disease. We must continue to urge governments to prioritize investment in routine immunization, ensure that vaccine misconceptions never stand in the way of healthy children and communities, and build on the successes of disease elimination efforts. Better health, and lives, are in the balance” (12/20).