WHO says global childhood vaccinations closer to prepandemic levels
Childhood vaccinations worldwide are rising to coverage levels close to those seen before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new data from WHO and UNICEF.
The agencies estimate that 4 million more children received full vaccination in 2022 compared with the previous year, but recovery is not keeping pace in low-income countries. Approximately 20.5 million children globally still missed at least one vaccine constituting a part of routine immunization in 2022, although that is better than the 24.4 million children who missed at least one dose in 2021.
The data also concluded that 14.5 million children did not receive a single dose of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTP) vaccine, which is used as the marker of overall immunization coverage, compared with 18 million who received no DTP doses in 2021.
The new coverage levels remain below those prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, when 18.4 million children missed out on at least one vaccination, and far short of the United Nations’ target to slash by 50% the global number of so-called “zero-dose children” by 2030.
According to the report, the only vaccine type to gain ground was the HPV vaccine. The UN hopes to see HPV vaccine rates rise to 90% of girls worldwide by 2030.