WHO and UNICEF Report that Million Children Missed Out on Lifesaving Vaccines in 2021
A recent report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has revealed that millions of children around the world have missed out on essential vaccines that could save their lives.
The Shocking Statistics
The report highlights that an estimated 23 million children missed their routine immunizations in 2021 alone due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This has left them vulnerable to life-threatening diseases such as measles, polio, and pneumonia.
The WHO and UNICEF report shows that the highest number of children who missed their vaccines were in Africa, where 30 countries experienced a drop of more than 10% in their vaccination rates. In South Asia, nearly 10 million children missed vital vaccines.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Vaccination Rates
According to the report, the COVID-19 pandemic caused significant disruptions to essential health services, including routine immunizations. Health facilities in many countries were overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases, and lockdowns and travel restrictions made it difficult for families to keep up with their vaccination schedules.
The WHO and UNICEF have urged governments and healthcare providers to ensure that immunization services continue throughout the pandemic. They are calling for urgent action to be taken to address the vaccine inequality and to reach the millions of children who missed out on vital vaccines this year.
The Importance of Vaccination
Vaccines are a crucial part of public health, and they have helped to eradicate many deadly diseases throughout history. Routine immunizations protect children from preventable illnesses and deaths.
With vaccinations against COVID-19 now underway in many countries, there is hope that the pandemic will eventually come to an end. However, the WHO and UNICEF report is a warning that we must not forget about other immunizations that protect children from deadly diseases.
We must take action now to ensure that every child has access to vaccines that could save their life.
The Bottom Line
The WHO and UNICEF report is a reminder of the importance of immunizations and the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on vaccination rates. Governments and healthcare providers must act now to ensure that routine immunizations continue, and every child has access to lifesaving vaccines.