Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance will help vaccinate up to 45 million children in seven developing countries over the next six months in a series of major vaccination campaigns to help halt a recent surge in global measles cases.
The campaigns will take place in Bangladesh, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nepal, Somalia, and South Sudan. They will target children under five years, with Bangladesh also aiming to reach children under nine.
The campaigns will be carried out by governments with funding from Gavi and support from Vaccine Alliance and Measles & Rubella Initiative (M&RI) partners, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF.
In addition Gavi and partners will help Madagascar and Mauritania introduce a second dose of measles-containing vaccine into their routine immunisation programmes. Over a million children annually in the two countries will receive this vital second dose, increasing the vaccine’s effectiveness from around 84% to 97%.
Reported measles cases worldwide fell from over 850,000 in 2000 to 132,000 in 2016, following increases in vaccine coverage in the world's poorest countries. However, in recent years cases have surged dramatically. In 2018 there were nearly 360,000 measles cases recorded globally. Provisional data for 2019 reported to WHO shows there were almost 430,000 cases reported, to date.