WHO, UNICEF and Gavi have announced an ambitious new global vaccination strategy aimed at saving 50 million lives.
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Among the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic were disruptions in immunisation programmes around the globe putting millions of people and especially children at risk from deadly diseases. Aiming to address this problem and marking this year’s World Immunization Week, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance have called for a renewed global commitment to improve vaccination access and uptake.
According to WHO, in 37% of respondent countries the immunisation initiatives are still negatively affected by the pandemic while 60 campaigns for vaccinations against measles, yellow fever and polio have been postponed in 50 countries, mostly in Africa, putting about 230 million people at risk. In turn, in 2020 the delivery of vaccines and equipment by UNICEF decreased compared to 2019.
The three organisations have launched a new global immunisation strategy, Immunization Agenda 2030 (IA2030), to address these challenges and maximise the impact of vaccines. If fully implemented, it may prevent an estimated 50 million deaths, three quarters of those in low- and middle-income countries.
By 2030, the initiative aims to achieve 90% coverage for essential vaccines for children and teenagers, reduce the number of children with no access to vaccines by half, and complete 500 national or subnational introductions of new or under-utilized vaccines (e.g. for COVID-19, rotavirus, or HPV).
The partners called world leaders to explicitly commit to the new agenda and support immunisation efforts around the world through increased vaccine research and development in close partnership with the pharma industry.
Source: WHO Media
Image credit: IA2030