THURSDAY, Oct. 28, 2021 (HealthDay News) — From 2019 to 2020, there were decreases in global estimates of childhood vaccinations, according to research published in the Oct. 29 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Pierre Muhoza, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues investigated global, regional, and national vaccination coverage estimates and trends in 2020 compared with 2019.

The researchers found that from 2019 to 2020, there was a decrease in global estimates of coverage with the third dose of the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis-containing vaccine (DTP3) and a polio vaccine (Pol3) from 86 to 83 percent. Coverage with the first dose of measles-containing vaccine (MCV1) also decreased, from 86 to 84 percent. The last year that coverage estimates were at 2020 levels for DTP3, MCV1, and Pol3 was 2009, 2014, and 2014, respectively. Worldwide, 17 percent of the target population was not vaccinated with DTP3 in 2020 compared with 14 percent in 2019 (22.7 versus 19.0 million children). Ninety-five percent of the increased number was children who did not receive the first DTP dose by age 12 months (zero-dose children). Of those who did not receive DTP3 in 2020, 75 percent were zero-dose children. Compared with 2019 estimates, global coverage decreased in 2020 for the completed series of Haemophilus influenzae type b, hepatitis B vaccine, human papillomavirus vaccine, and rubella-containing vaccine.

“Action is urgently needed to address immunity gaps caused by pandemic-related disruptions in immunization delivery to prevent vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks in countries with health systems already burdened by COVID-19,” the authors write.

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