Hard fought gains in immunization coverage at risk without critical health services, warns WHO
Shutting down immunization services in the COVID-19 pandemic risks triggering a resurgence of diseases that can be prevented with safe and effective vaccines, warns WHO in the lead-up to World Immunization Week (24-30 April).
When immunization services are disrupted, even for brief periods during emergencies, the risk of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks, such as measles and polio, increase. Last year’s deadly measles outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which took more than 6000 lives in a country already facing its largest Ebola outbreak, highlights the importance of maintaining essential health services, such as immunization in times of emergency. Further disease outbreaks will also overwhelm health systems already battling the impacts of COVID-19.
“Disease outbreaks must not remain a threat when we have safe and effective vaccines to protect us,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “While the world strives to develop a new vaccine for COVID-19 at record speed, we must not risk losing the fight to protect everyone, everywhere against vaccine-preventable diseases. These diseases will come roaring back if we do not vaccinate.”
WHO is working with partners …continued .
[Original Source: WHO]