By Constance Ndeleko
We Can’t Take that Risk.
We don’t need to create another Public-Health problem.
“It’s very, very worrisome to have under-vaccinated children.”
It is better to prevent a disease rather than treating one after it occurs. We cannot break immunization processes just for we are facing an unseen enemy from our naked eyes.
Immunization has the possibility of preventing and adults from contacting diseases thus, it’s an appeal to all member state to ensure that they keep the fire going to ensure that children are immunized at the right time to prevent occurrence of other disease even as we strive to curb COVID-19.
WHO is calling for an end to the unnecessary disability and death caused by failure to vaccinate. It also estimates that today immunizations prevent between 2 and 3 million deaths annually and protect many more people from illness and disability.
Immunization builds your body immunity and saves lives. It gives you and your community and your future generation a sense of protection by eradicating infectious diseases.
In 2018, 86 percent of children under the age of five globally were vaccinated with three doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP3) and one dose of the measles vaccine, up from 72 percent in 2000 and 20 percent in 1980. The number of children paralyzed by polio has been reduced by 99.9 percent worldwide.
Moreover, with travel restriction within countries in place those who need vaccines are facing a major backlash with a need to adjust travel schedule for those who are in need of them.
1 in 5 children still missing out on routine life-saving immunizations that could avert 1.5 million deaths each year from preventable diseases.(2015)
In 2018 nearly 20 million children worldwide – more than 1 in 10 – missed out on lifesaving vaccines, such as measles, diphtheria and tetanus. Roughly, 13 million of the children have never received any vaccines, putting them and their communities at risk of disease and death. The majority of these children live in countries with already fragile health systems, further limiting their access to essential health services when they fall sick.
From a briefing given by Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization he states:
- “Myths and misinformation about vaccines are adding fuel to the fire, putting vulnerable people at risk,’’
- “The tragic reality is that children will die as a result.”
- Every year, more than 116 million infants are vaccinated, or 86 percent of all children born globally, but there are still more than 13 million children around the world who miss out on vaccination.
- Any concerns over children and parents contracting COVID-19 when they see their doctor during an immunization visit are far outweighed by the risk of getting another more deadly or otherwise debilitating disease by not getting vaccinated.
- He said Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance — a public-private partnership involved with global immunization — has estimated that at least 21 poorer countries are already reporting vaccine shortages because of transportation issues.
- Consequently, “so far, 14 vaccination campaigns supported by Gavi against polio, measles, cholera, human papillomavirus, yellow fever and meningitis have been postponed, which would have immunized more than 13 million people,’’ Tedros said.
- “Immunization is one of the greatest success stories in the history of global health,’’ with more than 20 diseases prevented by vaccines, he said.
- Yet “already, polio-vaccination campaigns have been put on hold and in some countries, routine immunization services are being scaled back or shut down.”
- He added that now, “with the start of the Southern Hemisphere flu season, it’s vital that everyone gets their seasonal flu vaccine.”
- But “even when services are operating, some parents and caregivers are avoiding taking their children to be vaccinated because of concerns about COVID-19.”
- Additionally, it is important for health providers to ensure routine childhood immunization services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We all require a concerted effort and a much stronger accountability measures to ensure vaccines are delivered and administered to reach everyone in the community who needs it.
The Global Vaccine Action Plan envisions a world where everyone lives life free from vaccine preventable diseases by 2020
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