COVID-19 Substantially Disrupts Childhood Vaccination Programs Globally; Guardian Spotlights Impact On Measles Efforts In CAR

The Guardian: Measles vaccination disruptions due to coronavirus put 80 million children at risk
“Tens of millions of children around the world have been denied life-saving vaccines against measles in both rich and poor countries due to Covid-19 disruptions, with fears of further outbreaks this year. Since March, routine childhood immunization services have been disrupted on a scale unseen since the 1970s, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Data collected by UNICEF, the Gavi Alliance, WHO, and Sabin Vaccine Institute found in May that immunization programs had been substantially hindered in at least 68 countries, leaving 80 million children under the age of one unprotected from diseases including measles, tetanus, polio, and yellow fever. Although progress on immunization coverage was stalling even before the pandemic hit, limited access to health centers, a lack of personal protection equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers, and fear of contracting Covid-19 have all contributed to major disruptions in the delivery and uptake of vaccination programs…” (Hodal, 7/29).

The Guardian: Measles stalks Central African Republic in Covid’s shadow — in pictures
“Photographer James Oatway of [Médecins sans Frontières] witnessed the misery caused by this preventable disease, as vaccination programs are disrupted around the world” (7/29).

Additional coverage of the declines in childhood immunizations amid COVID-19 is available from VOA News.