WHO and Unicef ​​warn of biggest drop in childhood vaccines in 30 years

The covid-19 crisis and misinformation are behind the largest continuous decline in childhood vaccinations against other diseases in nearly three decadesaccording to a report from World Health Organization (WHO) y UNICEF released Thursday.

The proportion of children receiving all three doses of the vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and poliomyelitis (DTP) fell from 86% in 2019 to only 81% in 2021. This vaccine is used as a key indicator of vaccination coverage in the world.

The fall in 2020 and 2021 is happening after a decade of improvements.

“This is a red alert for children’s health. We are witnessing the continuation of the largest decline in childhood vaccinationsl for a generation,” UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said in a statement. “The consequences will be measured in lives.”

many reasons

The reasons for this decline are multiple: conflicts, increased misinformation, and problems with supply or continuity of care related to the covid-19 pandemic.

It was planned that in 2021 a recovery after confinement, but rather vaccination rates continued to decline in all regions of the world.

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This low coverage has led to preventable outbreaks of measles and poliomyelitis over the past 12 months, according to the report.


The news comes at a time when malnutrition rates are also on the rise. A malnourished child already has a weaker immune system and therefore more likely to develop severe cases of these preventable diseases.

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