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Covid-19 disruption could erase decade’s worth of global vaccine coverage for childhood diseases, Unicef warns

Immunisation programmes suspended or reduced amid coronavirus pandemic, leaving countries in developing world vulnerable to resurgence in childhood diseases such as measles and polio

Global efforts to vaccinate children against fatal diseases such as measles and polio could be set back a decade due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Unicefhas warned.

Immunisation campaigns and routine vaccine services have been suspended across the world to limit the transmission of Covid-19, leaving countries with weak health systems susceptible to a resurgence in preventable illnesses once lockdown restrictions are lifted and societies reopen.

Global efforts to vaccinate children against fatal diseases such as measles and polio could be set back a decade due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Unicefhas warned.

Immunisation campaigns and routine vaccine services have been suspended across the world to limit the transmission of Covid-19, leaving countries with weak health systems susceptible to a resurgence in preventable illnesses once lockdown restrictions are lifted and societies reopen.

The dramatic decline in commercial flights and limited availably of charters has also compounded the efforts of local and international authorities fighting childhood diseases, with Unicef recording a 70-80 per cent reduction in planned vaccine shipments between 22 March and 1 May.

Many developing countries have subsequently been unable to purchase new supplies and are instead being forced to draw from their three-month buffer stocks, which are now at risk of running out, according to Unicef.

— Independent for full story