WHO and UNICEF warn of a decline in vaccinations during COVID-19 pandemic

21 July 2020

Article: 54/2905

According to data collected by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, there has been a substantial decline in the number of children receiving vaccines around the world.  This is due to disruptions in the delivery and uptake of immunisation services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest data on vaccine coverage estimates from the WHO and UNICEF shows that improvements  made in recent times, such as the expansion of the HPV vaccine to 106 countries, and greater protection for children against more diseases, are in danger of lapsing. For example, preliminary data for the first four months of 2020 points to a substantial drop in the number of children completing three doses of the vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP3). This is the first time in 28 years that a worldwide reduction may be seen in DTP3 coverage, the marker for immunisation coverage within and across countries.

Source: WHO, 15 July 2020