The UN is concerned about an alarming drop in the immunization rate of young people under the age of five worldwide. The pandemic is no stranger to this.
The number of children vaccinated worldwide, which has already stagnated for 10 years, has dropped alarmingly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, two UN agencies warned on Thursday.
Before the appearance of the coronavirus at the end of 2019, the vaccination rate for DTP3 (diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough) and measles was already stagnating at 85%, with 14 million children not vaccinated per year, mainly in Africa, remind the WHO (Organization World Health Organization) and UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund).
The pandemic has impacted immunization campaigns in three-quarters of 82 countries, according to an online study conducted in June by the two agencies and the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi).
The report is particularly concerned about the drop in DTP3 vaccination in the first four months of the year, due in particular to transport difficulties, restrictions caused by the pandemic or the fear of contamination. A baby from the Covid period is now less than 20% likely to receive all recommended immunizations before the age of 5, the UN said in Geneva on Wednesday.
“The pandemic threatens this progress”
At least thirty vaccination campaigns against measles are threatened worldwide, also point out the agencies. “Vaccines are one of the most powerful tools in the history of health, and more children than ever are now immunized,” WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.
“But the pandemic threatens this progress,” he said, calling on the countries to ensure the continuation of their immunization policy. “Covid-19 has turned what used to be routine immunization into a worrisome challenge,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore.
“We must resume immunization programs urgently before the lives of children are threatened by other diseases. We cannot trade one health crisis for another, ”she said.