Pandemic represents ‘biggest setback in childhood vaccination’

SERVIMEDIA.- The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF denounce that “the global coverage of vaccination continued to decline in 2021 “as there are 225 million babies who have not received life-saving vaccines” as the pandemic was the biggest setback in three decades.

The percentage of children who received three doses of the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP3) vaccine, a key marker of immunization coverage, decreased by 5 percentage points between 2019 and 2021.” As a result, 25 million children missed one or more doses of DTP in 2021 alone. COVID-19[feminine] they must also go hand in hand with vaccination against deadly diseases such as measles, pneumonia and diarrhoea. It is not a question of choosing between one or the other, it is possible to do both”, explains Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the WHO.

Risk factors

With regard to risk factors, he underlined the fact that there is a increase in the number of children living in conflict situations, in addition to increased misinformation, COVID-19 related issues, or service and vaccine supply chain disruptions. According to the WHO and Unicef, 2021 was to be a year of recovery in childhood vaccination programs. In contrast, “diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP3) coverage has fallen to its lowest level since 2008”, which, combined with the decline in coverage of other core vaccines, “makes it very difficult achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“This is a red alert for the child health. We are witnessing the largest sustained decline in the childhood vaccination in one generation. The consequences will be measured in lives,” says Catherine Russell, Executive Director of Unicef. “COVID-19 is no excuse. We need them to catch up on vaccination for the millions of doses that are missing, otherwise we will inevitably see more epidemics, more sick children and a greater strain on already overstretched healthcare systems.”

Moreover, data from the two institutions reveal that, for example, more than a quarter of the population has disappeared. HPV vaccination coverage which was carried out in 2019. “This has serious consequences for the health of women and girls, since the global coverage of the first dose of the vaccine against the human papillomavirus (HPV) is only 15%”, indicates the WHO.

Finally, Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, called for a resumption of vaccination campaigns childhood vaccination“It is heartbreaking to see more children losing their protection against preventable diseases for the second consecutive year. The Alliance’s priority must be to help countries maintain, restore and strengthen routine immunization as well as the execution of ambitious vaccination plans against COVID-19″.

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