UN: Million of Children Missed Their Essential Vaccination during Pandemic

KomnasAnak.com, JEPARA -
Based on the report of World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, almost 23 million of children in the world missed the Essential vaccinations as a result of the pandemic.


The latest analysis released on Thursday (15/7/2021) highlights data from around the world. The two organizations said immunization rates among children were falling in many Asian and Middle Eastern Countries.


India was the country that missed the most vaccines for children during the pandemic last year. From 2019 to 2020, the country represents the largest increase in children who did not receive the first vaccine for diphteria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTP).


In 2020, India reports that more than 3 million children did not receive their first DTP vaccine. This figure represents an increase from the 1,4 million children who did not get injections in 2019. The problem is, this trend is happening worldwide.


There is an increasing number of children missing the first important vaccine dose in 2020 globally, with millions more missing their next vaccine as well.


Children usually receive their first dose of the DTP vaccine when they are under 7 years old. The first dose of measles vaccine is usually receive by children between the ages of 12 and 15 months.


Reporting from NPR, Thursday (16/7/2021), WHO said that the increasing number of children who were not vaccinated was a real impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, even on health services that provide vaccines and routine checkups, as well as immunization outreach around the world.


Its worst impact is on children living in conflict-prone areas, remote areas, or in slums. These areas have difficulty accessing basic health and social services. WHO and UNICEF say some 17 million children living in areas with poor access to healthcare may not receive a single vaccine during 2020.


“Covid-19 has made a bad situation worse,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF executive director.


“This evidence should serve as a clear reminder that the Covid-19 pandemic and related disruptions are costing us a valuable place we cannot lose. And the consequences will pay off in the lives and well being of the most vulnerable”.


Child vaccination rates are declining

Global health officials have seen worrying signs that efforts to immunize children against preventable diseases were failing even before the pandemic, according to this latest report.


For example, before the pandemic, the number of children globally who got at least the first shot of the measles vaccine was stalled for more than a decade at around 86 percent.


WHO and UNICEF estimate that less than 70 percent of children receive the recommended second dose of measles. WHO recommends a 95 percent immunization rate to protect against measles outbreaks.


“Even as countries demand to get a Covid-19 vaccine, we have backed away from other vaccinations, putting children at risk for devastating but preventable diseases like measles, polio, or meningitis,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO general director.


In 2018, more than 140.000 people died from measles during a worldwide spike in cases among unvaccinated children against the disease. Nearly half of all measles cases worldwide in 2018 came from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Liberia, Madagascar, Somalia, and Ukraine.


In South and North America and the Caribbean, WHO reports that vaccination rates continue to decline. Only 82 percent of children fully vaccinated with DTP, down from 91 percent in 2016.


Health officials believe that underfunding, misinformation around vaccine safety and regional instability are contributing to the decline in childhood immunization rates.


Meanwhile, outbreaks of preventable diseases among children in the US have emerged in recent years.


In 2019, measles outbreaks occurred in 31 states. About 1.280 individual cases are confirms, according to the CDC. Most cases have occurred among people who were not vaccinated against measles.


“Several outbreaks of disease will be catastrophic  for communities and health systems already battling Covid-19, making it more urgent than ever to invest in childhood vaccinations and ensure every child is accessible,” Tedros said.

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