More Than 20 Million Children Worldwide Miss Out on the Measles Vaccine Annually, UNICEF Reports

Thursday, April 25, 2019

By Hillary Leung

Around 169 million children missed out on the measles vaccine over an eight-year period, a shortfall in protective coverage that has paved the way for a disease that is sweeping the world, the U.N. Children’s Fund said Thursday.

UNICEF said in a report that 169 million children did not receive the first dose of the measles vaccine between 2010 and 2017, a number that equates with about 21.1 million kids annually.

This vaccination gap “created a pathway” for the outbreaks raging throughout the globe, including in the U.S., Europe, the Philippines and Tunisia, the report added.

“The ground for the global measles outbreaks we are witnessing today was laid years ago,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. “The measles virus will always find unvaccinated children.”

Photo courtesy of Carlos Reusser Monsalvez.

Source: TIME (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
infectious diseases, vaccines