WHO: Several million children didn’t get important vaccines due to pandemic

Polio vaccine - PakistanPhoto: AP Photo / Muhammad Sajjad

Around 228 million people, most of them children, are at risk of developing preventable and sometimes life-threatening diseases because vaccination has stopped.

In 50 countries, vaccination against, for example, measles, polio, and yellow fever has had to give way to the pandemic, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Children’s Fund Unicef, ​​and the vaccine alliance Gavi.

In particular, vaccination against measles, a threat even before the pandemic, has not been carried out regularly.

“The pandemic has exacerbated an already bad situation, leaving millions of children unvaccinated,” Unicef ​​director Henrietta Fore said. Congo, Pakistan, and Yemen, in particular, have been hit hard.

Vaccine distribution

Unicef ​​only managed to distribute 2.01 billion vaccine doses last year, down from 2.29 billion doses in 2019.

The organizations have now started an initiative with the goal of vaccinating 90% of all the world’s minors against diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis, tuberculosis, and polio. They estimate that this could save 50 million lives by 2030.

Furthermore, they are asking rich countries and pharmaceutical companies to invest more in vaccine research and finance vaccination campaigns for populations that are difficult to reach.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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