20 million children worldwide – more than 1 in 10 – missed out on lifesaving vaccines such as measles, diphtheria and tetanus in 2018, according to new data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Globally, since 2010, vaccination coverage with three doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP3) and one dose of the measles vaccine has stalled at around 86%. While high, this is not sufficient. 95% coverage is needed – globally, across countries, and communities - to protect against outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.
Most unvaccinated children live in the poorest countries, and are disproportionately in fragile or conflict-affected states. If these children do get sick, they are at risk of the severest health consequences, and least likely to access lifesaving treatment and care.
Since 2000, WHO and UNICEF jointly produce national immunisation coverage estimates for Member States on an annual basis. In addition to producing the immunisation coverage estimates for 2018, the WHO and UNICEF estimation process revises the entire historical series of immunisation data with the latest available information.