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International Community Should Commit To Vaccinating All Children In Humanitarian Emergencies

Huffington Post: Vulnerable Kids Everywhere Need Their Health Shots
Flavia Bustreo, WHO assistant director general for family, women’s and children’s health, and vice chair of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

“…[T]he struggle to maintain adequate levels of vaccination among children on the move is a challenge in many parts of the world. … The most vulnerable are the young children who have yet to receive any vaccinations because health care in their home countries has been interrupted by civil unrest and war. … It is vital for host countries to extend their routine immunization programs to refugees and migrants, irrespective of their legal status. … As an international community, we must also invest more and find smarter ways of financing stocks of vaccines to use during emergencies and outbreaks. … At next week’s U.N. Summit for Refugees and Migrants, countries should recommit to safeguarding the health of children in humanitarian emergencies — a task identified as a priority in the new Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health. In any setting, funding the supply and delivery of vaccines is a proven way to save lives. And with millions of children on the move, the stakes could not be higher” (9/14).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.