in

WHO, CDC: A Record 40 Million Kids Miss Measles Vaccine Dose

Advertisements

A registered nurse and immunization coordinator at the Knox County Department of Health administers a vaccination to a child at the facility in Mount Vernon, Ohio on Friday, May 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon, File)A registered nurse and immunization coordinator at the Knox County Department of Health administers a vaccination to a child at the facility in Mount Vernon, Ohio on Friday, May 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon, File)

LONDON (AP) – The World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say measles immunization has declined significantly since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in a record nearly 40 million children who missed a dose of the vaccine last year.

In a report released Wednesday, WHO and the CDC said millions of children are now susceptible to measles, among the world’s most contagious diseases. In 2021, officials said there were an estimated 9 million measles infections and 128,000 deaths worldwide.

WHO and CDC said continued declines in vaccinations, weak disease surveillance and delayed response plans due to COVID-19, in addition to ongoing outbreaks in more than 20 countries, mean “measles is a imminent threat in every region of the world”.

Scientists estimate that at least 95% of the population must be immunized to protect themselves from epidemics; WHO and CDC reported that only about 81% of children receive the first dose of measles vaccine, while 71% receive the second dose, marking the lowest global first-dose measles coverage rates since 2008.

“The record number of under-immunized and measles-susceptible children shows the profound damage immunization systems have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.

Measles is mostly spread through direct contact or in the air and causes symptoms including fever, body aches, and rashes on the face and upper neck. Most measles-related deaths are caused by complications including brain swelling and dehydration. WHO says serious complications are most severe in children under five and adults over 30.

More than 95% of measles deaths occur in developing countries, mostly in Africa and Asia. There is no specific treatment for measles, but the two-dose measles vaccine is about 97 percent effective in preventing serious illness and death.

In July, the United Nations said 25 million children had missed out on routine immunizations against diseases including diphtheria, largely because the coronavirus disrupted routine health services or triggered misinformation about vaccines.


Advertisements
Advertisements

What do you think?

Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

Leave a Reply

Rivian safety violations ignored by electric-vehicle maker, say Illinois factory workers in…

Black Friday Mattress Deals You Can’t Miss