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Children more susceptible to measles as vaccine rates drop, data shows

Virus Outbreak Routine Vaccinations
Posted at 11:57 AM, Nov 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-23 14:45:09-05

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) re[prt that progress is being lost in providing herd immunity against measles.

In data released Wednesday, the organizations said that a record high 40 million children worldwide missed a measles dose in 2021.

Of those, 25 million missed their first dose while about 14.7 million missed their second.

To achieve herd immunity against measles, 95% of children need to be immunized.

The WHO and CDC say that 81% of children have gotten a single dose of the vaccine, while 71% have gotten both doses.

The organizations say that global measles vaccine coverage is at its lowest level since 2008.

“The paradox of the pandemic is that while vaccines against COVID-19 were developed in record time and deployed in the largest vaccination campaign in history, routine immunization programs were badly disrupted, and millions of kids missed out on life-saving vaccinations against deadly diseases like measles,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Getting immunization programs back on track is absolutely critical.

In 2021, there were an estimated 9 million cases of measles resulting in 128,000 deaths.

According to the CDC, measles causes the following symptoms:

  • Pneumonia
  • Brain Damage
  • Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Diarrhea
  • Premature birth or low-birthweight baby (in unvaccinated pregnant women who get measles during pregnancy)
  • Measles infection leads to loss of immunity to other deadly diseases

From 2010 through 2021, U.S. vaccination rates largely held steady for children at 24 months.

As of 2021, 90.8% of children were vaccinated against measles.