Pandemic halts vaccination for nearly 80 million children

World Health Organization warms that half of 129 countries reported suspension of vaccination services in March and April.

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World News

May 22, 2020 - 2:46 PM

Vaccines protect against measles. TNS

LONDON (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic is interrupting immunization against diseases including measles, polio and cholera that could put the lives of nearly 80 million children under the age of 1 at risk, according to a new analysis from the World Health Organization and partners. 

In a new report issued on Friday, health officials warned that more than half of 129 countries where immunization data were available reported moderate, severe or total suspensions of vaccination services during March and April. 

“Disruption to immunization programs from the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to unwind decades of progress against vaccine-preventable diseases like measles,” said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a statement. The report was also produced by UNICEF, the Sabin Vaccine Institute and GAVI.

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