The pandemic has led to a sharp fall in the number of children around the world being vaccinated, the UN says. The decline in Vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough over the first four months of the year is the first in nearly three decades. The suffering and death caused by lack of vaccines could be much worse than destruction brought by COVID’19, says Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO.
By May this year at least 30 measles vaccination campaigns had been canceled or were at risk due to a lack of personal protective equipment for health workers, travel restrictions, low health worker staffing levels, and a reluctance to leave home. Coronavirus has consumed healthcare resources worldwide as the international community has focused efforts to combat the deadly virus. Progress on immunization has been stalling long before the pandemic and this scenario has made it worse, says WHO.
In 2019 nearly 14m children – more than half of them in Africa – did not get life-saving vaccines against diseases such as measles and diphtheria. Two-thirds of them were in 10 countries: Angola, Brazil, DR Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, and The Philippines. The chances of a child fully vaccinated by the time she reaches 5 is less than 20 percent, says WHO.