WHO shared their database on immunization, vaccines. They shared the global immunization coverage levels on their twitter handle.
Photo credit: WHO twitter handle
Globally, 85% of children have been vaccinated with the first dose of measles vaccine by their first birthday through routine health services and 67% with a second dose. 167 countries have included a second dose of measles vaccine as part of their routine vaccination schedule.
Nevertheless, coverage levels remain well short of the WHO recommended measles immunization coverage of at least 95% to prevent outbreaks, avert preventable deaths and achieve regional elimination goals.
162 countries now use rubella vaccines and global coverage increased from 35% in 2010 to 52% in 2017, which represents an additional 25 million children vaccinated in 2017 compared to 2010. This is a major step towards reducing the occurrence of congenital rubella syndrome, a devastating condition that results in miscarriages, hearing impairment, congenital heart defects and blindness, among other life-long disabilities.
Newly available vaccines are being added as part of the life-saving vaccination package – such as those to protect against meningitis, malaria and even Ebola. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common viral infection of the reproductive tract, and can cause cervical cancer, other types of cancer, and genital warts in both men and women. In 2017, the HPV vaccine was introduced in 80 countries.
On the other hand, vaccines to prevent against major killers of children such as rotavirus, a disease that causes severe childhood diarrhoea, and pneumonia have been around for over a decade. But the use of rotavirus and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) is lagging behind. In 2017, global coverage was only 28% for rotavirus and 44% for PCV. Vaccination against both these diseases has the potential to substantially reduce deaths of children under 5 years of age, a target of the Sustainable Development Goals.
17 countries had transitioned out from Gavi financial support by the end of 2017. Out of these, 7 countries have achieved at least 90% coverage by for DTP3 at the national level.
With the above immunization coverage, can we boldly say that the world is becoming a better place for health care services?