More Than 13M Children Missed Routine Vaccinations Prior To COVID-19, UNICEF Warns, Urging Nations To Maintain Immunization Services Amid Pandemic

The Telegraph: More than 13 million children globally missed out routine vaccinations — even before Covid-19 struck
“More than 13 million children did not receive any vaccinations in 2018, and millions more are in danger of missing life-saving vaccines this year due to disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, new analysis has found. Even before the coronavirus outbreak shut down vital immunization programs, more than 20 million children living in countries with weak health care systems went without measles, polio, and other vaccines every year, a UNICEF report has warned. But the figures reveal that it is not just the world’s poorest countries at risk of avoidable disease outbreaks…” (Kelly-Linden, 4/25).

U.N. News: Millions more children at risk with immunization services disrupted amid COVID-19 pandemic
“…Making its call at the start of the 2020 edition of World Immunization Week, UNICEF said on Saturday that millions of children are in danger of missing life-saving vaccines against measles, diphtheria and polio due to disruptions in immunization service as the world rushes to slow the spread of COVID-19. … As the world races to develop and test a new COVID-19 vaccine, UNICEF and partners in the Measles & Rubella Initiative and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance are calling on governments and donors to: Sustain immunization services while keeping health workers and communities safe; Start planning to ramp up vaccinations for every missed child when the pandemic ends; Fully replenish Gavi, as the alliance supports immunization programs in the future; and Ensure that when the COVID-19 vaccine is available, it reaches those most in need…” (4/26).

Additional coverage of the UNICEF report and disease prevention amid the COVID-19 pandemic is available from The Guardian, Health Policy Watch, New York Times, and VOA.

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