An estimated 20 million children worldwide – more than one in 10 – missed out on vaccines such as measles, diphtheria and tetanus in 2018, according to new data from the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF.
Globally, since 2010, vaccination coverage with three doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP3) and one dose of measles vaccine has stalled at around 86 per cent, far below the ‘herd immunity’ target of 95 per cent, the report notes.
Most unvaccinated children live in the poorest countries, disproportionately in fragile or conflict-affected states. Almost half are in 16 countries - Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
In 2018, almost 350,000 measles cases were reported globally, more than doubling from 2017. The Ukraine had the highest reported incidence rate of measles in 2018. Its coverage of one dose of measles vaccine was 91 per cent in 2018, up from 56 per cent in 2010.
For the first time, there is also data on the coverage of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. As of 2018, 90 countries had introduced HPV vaccines into their national programmes. Just 13 of these are lower-income countries.