The World Health Organisation has disclosed that over 13 million children worldwide will miss out on vaccinations, due the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Director-General of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said children may not be vaccinated because vaccines may not be distributed to various countries worldwide as a result of border closures.
“Every year more than 116 million infants are vaccinated or 86 percent of children born globally. But there are still a lot more than 13 million children around the world who miss out on vaccinations.
“We know that the numbers will increase because of covid-19,” Mr Ghebreyesus said during an update to the world on the Coronavirus pandemic.
Mr. Ghebreyesus said children may be at risk of contracting many diseases that could be prevented through vaccination and “the tragic reality is that children may die as a result,” he added.
He further disclosed that the Gavi immunisation alliance has estimated that at least 21 low and middle-income countries are reporting vaccine shortage as a result of border closures and disruptions to travel.
“So far 14 vaccination campaigns supported by the Gavi against polio, measles, cholera, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), yellow fever and meningitis have been postponed,” he said.
He however urged partners not to give up their support
“Gavi has set up an ambitious goal to immunize 300 million more children with 18 vaccines by 2025. Reaching this goal will require more than 7.4 billion US dollars in its upcoming replenishment.
“We call on the global community to ensure Gavi is funded for this life-saving work. This is not a cost it is an investment that pays a rich dividend in life life-saving especially in our children,” he said.
Moreover, Mr Ghebreyesus urged countries “to fight, isolate, test, treat all cases and also trace every contact to ensure the declining trends of Coronavirus in countries [especially in Europe] continue,” reminding countries of the fact that “the pandemic is far from over.”