Official data released by United Nations agencies on Friday, July 15, shows the most significant sustained fall in childhood vaccination rates in around 30 years, with over 25 million infants missing out on life-saving vaccinations in 2021.
The data published by the WHO (World Health Organisation) and UN Children’s Fund UNICEF reveals the percentage of children who got three doses of the vaccine.
It further reveals the percentage of children who got three doses of the vaccines against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (DTP3), a marker for immunisation coverage in and around nations, declined five points between 2019 and 2021 to 81%.
The 25 million children who didn’t get doses of DTP via routine immunisation services last year is two million over in 2020 and six million more than in 2019.
The fall was because of many factors, including a risen number of children living in conflict and fragile settings where immunisation access is usually challenging.
Rising misinformation on social media as well as COVID-19-related concerns like service and supply chain disruptions, resources being diverted and containment efforts that limited access to vaccines also played a part.
Some 18 million out of the 25 million children missing out didn’t get even a single dose of DTP during the year, the large majority of whom reside in low and middle-income nations, including India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Ethiopia as well as the Philippines reporting the highest numbers, noted the agencies.
Mozambique and Myanmar are among the nations with the largest relative increases in children who didn’t get a single vaccine between 2019 and 2021.
Globally, during a quarter of the coverage of HPV vaccines in 2019 has been lost.
This had severe consequences on the health of women and girls, as worldwide coverage of the first dose of the Human PapillomaVirus (HPV) vaccine is just 15%, in spite of the availability of a vaccine for the last 15 years on the global market.