In a report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, nearly 23 million children globally missed out on routine childhood vaccinations last year. Funding shortfalls, vaccine safety misinformation, regional instability, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, are all contributing factors.

The greatest impact has been on those who live in conflict-ridden areas, remote places or in slums. In addition to a lack of access to basic health care and social services, up to 17 million children likely didn’t receive a single vaccine during 2020.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, reflects that while many countries are trying to access COVID-19 vaccines, other countries have gone backwards in vaccination leaving children vulnerable to preventable diseases such as polio, measles and meningitis.

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NPR: The Pandemic Has Worsened Childhood Vaccination Rates Around The World