WHO Report, Commentary Highlight Successes, Challenges Of U.N. Immunization Efforts

WHO: Explorations of inequality: Childhood immunization
“Explorations of inequality: Childhood immunization, a WHO report launched in July 2018, describes how a child’s likelihood of being vaccinated is affected by socioeconomic, demographic, and geographic factors. The report is based on international household health surveys conducted in 10 countries — Afghanistan, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Uganda — between 2012 and 2016. These countries face the most severe immunization challenges, and together account for more than 70 percent of children who do not get a full course of basic vaccines. We found that the countries face distinct patterns of inequality … [and] some common findings prevailed…” (July 2018).

WHO: Working together to unlock the lifesaving power of data
In this commentary, Princess Nothemba Simelela, assistant director general for family, women, children and adolescents at WHO, and Robin Nandy, principal adviser and chief of immunizations at UNICEF, discuss “20 years of immunization data collaboration between WHO and UNICEF,” writing, “Immunization has achieved great progress in the past 20 years. … This progress is due in no small part to the existence of reliable, accurate data on immunization coverage. Armed with this data, WHO, UNICEF, and partners can identify where children are not being reached; where the greatest risks of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks exist; where outbreaks are already taking place; and where efforts need to be expanded and concentrated…” (7/16).

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