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Children’s vaccinations declining due to COVID-19

The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF on Wednesday warned of an “alarming decline” in the number of children receiving life-saving vaccines around the world due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to new data by WHO and UNICEF, these disruptions threaten to reverse hard-won progress to reach more children and adolescents with a wider range of vaccines, which has already been hampered by a decade of stalling coverage.

The latest data on vaccine coverage estimates from WHO and UNICEF for 2019 shows that improvements such as the expansion of the Human PapillomaVirus vaccine to 106 countries and greater protection for children against more diseases are in danger of lapsing

UNICEF and WHO said, they conducted a survey in collaboration with the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, which revealed three-quarters of the 82 countries that responded reported COVID-19-related disruptions in their immunization programmes as of May 2020.

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore has said that COVID-19 has made previously routine vaccination a daunting challenge.  

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