Precise Mapping Helps Uncover Inequities In Measles Vaccine Coverage, Could Help Improve Distribution, Opinion Piece Says

Nature: Precise mapping reveals gaps in global measles vaccination coverage
C. Edson Utazi and Andrew J. Tatem, both of WorldPop at the School of Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Southampton

“Improved access to childhood vaccines has been one of the biggest breakthroughs in public health in recent decades, as evidenced by the eradication of smallpox in 1980 and this year’s declaration of Africa as polio-free. But for measles, the road towards elimination and eradication has been bumpy, despite the existence of a safe and cost-effective vaccine. … [Precise] maps reveal substantial improvements in measles-vaccine coverage globally from 2000 to 2010, but they also show that slower progress was made between 2010 and 2019. In addition, the maps uncover remarkable inequities in vaccine coverage, both within and between countries… The Immunization Agenda 2030 is a global strategy for immunization set out by the World Health Organization this year, which recognizes the need to make immunization coverage more equitable within countries, serving to renew the drive towards achieving a world without measles. We advocate greater commitments from governments, donors, and other stakeholders, and call for vaccination programs to use the valuable resource of the current paper and the modelling approaches it outlines to support the agenda. Opportunities exist for capacity strengthening within countries: map production and ownership can be shifted to governments, their vaccination programs, and local academic institutions, and these efforts should be a priority over the coming years” (12/16).

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