Progress Against Measles Threatened by Covid-19 Pandemic - WHO

While reported measles cases have fallen compared to previous years, progress toward measles elimination continues to decline and the risk of outbreaks is mounting, according to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). During 2020, more than 22 million infants missed their first dose of measles vaccine - 3 million more than in 2019, marking the largest increase in two decades and creating dangerous conditions for outbreaks to occur.

"Large numbers of unvaccinated children, outbreaks of measles, and disease detection and diagnostics diverted to support Covid-19 responses are factors that increase the likelihood of measles-related deaths and serious complications in children," said Kevin Cain, MD, CDC's Global Immunization Director. "We must act now to strengthen disease surveillance systems and close immunity gaps, before travel and trade return to pre-pandemic levels, to prevent deadly measles outbreaks and mitigate the risk of other vaccine-preventable diseases."

As of November 11, 2021, confirmed cases of Covid-19 from 55 African countries reached  8,544,078 while over  125,503,345 vaccinations have been administered across the continent.

InFocus

Measles vaccination (file photo).

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