Despite broad immunization coverage, outbreaks of measles and diphtheria have resulted in many unnecessary deaths
Immunization is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions, saving millions of lives. In 2017, 116.2 million children were immunized, the highest number ever reported. At the same time, pockets of low coverage have led to outbreaks of measles and diphtheria, resulting in many deaths—a clear demonstration of the importance of reaching full coverage.
The proportion of children who have received the required three doses of the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP3)-containing vaccine increased from 72 per cent in 2000 to 85 per cent in 2015, but remained unchanged between 2015 and 2017. An estimated 19.9 million children did not receive the vaccine during the first year of life, putting them at serious risk of potentially fatal diseases.