WHO: Over 117M children at risk of missing out on measles vaccine amid COVID-19 crisis

  • Over 117 million children are at risk of missing out on measles vaccines as COVID-19 surges
  • In a statement released by health authorities it was disclosed that immunization campaigns have already been delayed in 24  countries and more will be postponed
  • The World Health Organization issued new guidelines to help countries to sustain immunization activities 

More than 117 million children are at risk of missing out on measles vaccines amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in different parts of the world.

Image via Pixabay

In a statement released by the Measles & Rubella Initiative (M&RI): American Red Cross, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United Nations Children’s Fund, United Nations Foundation, and World Health Organization (WHO), it was disclosed that immunization campaigns have already been delayed in a number of countries and more are expected to be postponed.

“As COVID-19 continues to spread globally, over 117 million children in 37 countries may miss out on receiving life-saving measles vaccine. Measles immunization campaigns in 24 countries have already been delayed; more will be postponed,” it was stated.

“The M&RI expresses solidarity with families, communities, governments, and emergency responders and joins our global immunization and health partners, including those within Gavi, Vaccine Alliance and Global Polio Eradication Initiative in our collective focus and fight against COVID-19. The pandemic requires a coordinated effort and commitment of resources to ensure health workers are protected. At the same time, we must also champion efforts to protect essential immunization services,” it added.

Recently, a new set of guidelines to help countries to sustain immunization activities was endorsed to help countries sustain their immunization drives.

Image via WHO

“The WHO has issued new guidelines endorsed by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization to help countries to sustain immunization activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidelines recommend that governments temporarily pause preventive immunization campaigns where there is no active outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease,” the statement disclosed. “We also urge countries to continue routine immunization services, while ensuring the safety of communities and health workers.”


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