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Homechevron_rightLifestylechevron_rightHealthchevron_right67 mn children miss...

67 mn children miss out on routine vaccines amid Covid-19 slump

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67 mn children miss out on routine vaccines amid Covid-19 slump
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UN: The United Nations informed on Wednesday that more around 67 million children partially missed routine vaccines globally between 2019 and 2021 due to pandemic-induced lockdowns and healthcare disruptions. Out of the said count, 48 million missed out on routine vaccines entirely, UNICEF said, reports PTI.

A report by UNICEF, the UN's children's agency, said, "More than a decade of hard-earned gains in routine childhood immunization has been eroded," and added that getting back on track "will be challenging", and pointed out potential polio and measles outbreaks.

Vaccine coverage among children declined in 112 countries, and the per cent of children vaccinated worldwide fell five points to 81 per cent. This has been low since 2008. The worst hit was Africa and South Asia.

"Worryingly, the backsliding during the pandemic came at the end of a decade when, in broad terms, growth in childhood immunization had stagnated," the report said.

Before the vaccines were introduced in 1963, measles had killed around 2.6 million people a year, mostly children, while it has been reduced to 1,28,000 by 2021.

In 2019 and 2021, the percentage of children getting vaccinated against measles fell from 86 per cent to 81. Consequently, the number of cases doubled in 2022 compared to 2021.

The editor-in-chief of the report, Brian Keeley, said that the fall in vaccination was driven by multiple crises, from climate change to food insecurity.

"You've got an increasing number of conflicts, economic stagnation in a lot of countries, climate emergencies, and so on," he said. "This all sort of makes it harder and harder for health systems and countries to meet vaccination needs."

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TAGS:Covid19childrenroutine
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