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The Zero-Dose Child: Explained

Twenty years ago, the global effort to ensure every child has access to vaccines was stuck in a rut. Since 1990 immunisation coverage in lower-income countries had started to stagnate, and had even declined, and the poorest countries had to wait an average of seven years after the richest before getting access to new vaccines. Ultimately, it was the children left unprotected against deadly diseases like measles, polio and pneumonia that suffered the consequences. Nearly 50% of zero-dose children live in three key geographic contexts: urban areas, remote communities and populations...

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Leaving No Child Behind: Zero-Dose and UHC

What Does Zero-Dose Mean? As of 2020, an estimated 17.1 million children did not receive the first dose of Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis vaccine (DTP1) – an increase of 3.5 million children from 20191. An estimated 80% of these zero-dose children live in Gavi-eligible countries1. The term zero-dose refers to children who have not received a single dose of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine (DTP1). These zero-dose children are often concentrated among the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, including the lowest-income households. Zero-dose status can help act as...

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1.2 million future deaths prevented, 65 million children newly protected

It hardly needs saying: as far as public health was concerned, 2021 was an uphill struggle. Amid the system-wide stresses exerted by an ongoing, rapacious pandemic, routine immunisation in Gavi-supported countries took a hit for the second year running. But the Alliance’s eyes are on the future: by 2030, if Gavi gets its way, the tally of people left behind with life-saving vaccines will stand at exactly zero. Basic coverage rates slipped a percentage point from 2020 levels to 77%, according to Gavi’s newly-released Annual Progress Report, and the number of “zero-dose” children in...

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Immunization coverage

Key facts Only 25 vaccine introductions other than COVID-19 vaccine were reported in 2021.Global coverage dropped from 86% in 2019 to 81% in 2021An estimated 25 million children under the age of 1 year did not receive basic vaccines, which is the highest number since 2009.The number of girls not vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV) increased by 3.5 million, compared to 2019.In 2021, the number of completely unvaccinated children increased by 5 million since 2019. Overview While immunization is one of the most successful public health interventions, coverage has plateaued over...

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Five takeaways from WHO’s immunisation advisory committee

On 11 October 2022, WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization met to discuss recommendations for vaccinations for four major public health emergencies the world is experiencing. This group of experts is critical in bringing together scientific research and analysis to make recommendations for public health measures involving vaccines. There are six candidate vaccines under development against the Sudan ebolavirus, three of which have undergone phase 1 or 2 clinical trials. 1. COVID-19 boosters In low-income countries, 19% of people are fully vaccinated, with...

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COVID-19 pandemic fuels largest continued backslide in vaccinations in three decades

WHO and UNICEF sound the alarm as new data shows global vaccination coverage continued to decline in 2021, with 25 million infants missing out on lifesaving vaccines The largest sustained decline in childhood vaccinations in approximately 30 years has been recorded in official data published today by WHO and UNICEF. The percentage of children who received three doses of the vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP3) – a marker for immunization coverage within and across countries – fell 5 percentage points between 2019 and 2021 to 81 per cent. As a result, 25 million...

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