TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Increases in childhood vaccine coverage in low- and middle-income countries have had a major impact in reducing mortality, according to a study published online Jan. 30 in The Lancet.

Xiang Li, Ph.D., from the Imperial College London, and colleagues quantified the health impact of childhood vaccination programs by estimating the deaths and disability-adjusted life-years averted by vaccination against 10 pathogens in 98 low- and middle-income countries between 2000 and 2030. Disease burden estimates were modeled under a range of vaccination coverage scenarios for 10 pathogens.

The researchers estimated that vaccination of the 10 selected pathogens will have averted 69 million deaths between 2000 and 2030, including 37 million from 2000 to 2019. This represents a 45 percent reduction in death from 2000 to 2019 compared with the counterfactual scenario of no vaccination. Most of this impact was due to a decrease in mortality among children younger than 5 years (57 percent), particularly from measles. A predicted 120 million deaths will be averted by vaccination over the lifetime of birth cohorts born between 2000 and 2030, of which 58 million and 38 million are due to measles vaccination and hepatitis B vaccination, respectively. A 72 percent reduction in lifetime mortality in the 2019 birth cohort was estimated with increases in vaccine coverage and introductions of additional vaccines.

“It is crucial to increase vaccine coverage and maintain high coverage levels in all countries to avoid the coverage gains achieved since 2000 being undone,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and health care industries.

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