The World Health Organization is working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other not-for profit organizations and agencies to reverse a pandemic-driven decline in routine childhood vaccinations.
The initiative was launched on Monday by the WHO, UNICEF, the GAVI vaccine alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation among others, and seeks to protect countries from vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks such as measles and yellow fever.
The efforts will focus on boosting rates in 20 countries, which account for 75% of the children who missed vaccinations in 2021.
DR. JANETTE NESHEIWAT: BABIES BORN DURING THE PANDEMIC ARE SEEING VIRUSES FOR THE FIRST TIME
“WHO is supporting dozens of countries to restore immunization and other essential health services. Catching up is a top priority. No child should die of a vaccine-preventable disease,” WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
Vaccination rates in children during the pandemic took a hit due to overburdened clinics, lockdown restrictions and disruptions in transport of vials, syringes and other medical supplies.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
According to the WHO, 25 million children under the age of 1 year did not receive basic vaccines in 2021 and global immunization coverage for children dropped to 81% that year from 86% in 2019.
People all over the world lost confidence in the importance of routine childhood vaccines against killer diseases such as measles and polio during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report from UNICEF last week.