One of ten children in the world received no vaccine in 2016 and is at risk of developing diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Development Fund (UNICEF).
The study found that 12.9 million infants out of a total of 116.5 million missed the first dose of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccine. In addition, about 6.6 million children received only one dose of the three vaccines needed to be protected.
Since 2010, the immunization rate for children has been stagnant at 86%, still far from the UN target of 90%. “Most of the children who are not immunized are the same who escape the health systems,” said Dr. Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele, Director of Immunization and Vaccines at WHO. “These children most likely did not receive any of the basic health services. If we want to increase the overall immunization coverage rate, health services must reach those who are not, “he added.