WHO concerns re global immunisation disruptions

23 May, 2020

According to the World Health Organization, UNICEF, Gavi and the Sabin Vaccine Institute, as a result of COVID-19, routine immunisation services have been either disrupted or halted in at least 68 countries. This could affect approximately 80 million children under the age of 12 months living in these countries. Reasons for disruptions include vaccine transport delays, parents undergoing movement restrictions, fear of COVID-19 infection whilst attending, lack of health care workers and equipment to deliver the service. Many countries have temporarily suspended mass vaccination campaigns for cholera, measles, meningitis, polio, tetanus, typhoid and yellow fever, due to risk of COVID-19 transmission and the requirement for social distancing being problematic. WHO has issued advice to help countries determine how and when to resume mass vaccination campaigns. WHO Director-General states “Disruption to immunisation programmes from the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to unwind decades of progress against vaccine-preventable diseases like measles.”



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