Measles rises globally amid vaccination crash; WHO and CDC sound the alarm

Enlarge / A baby with measles. (credit: CDC)

The World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are sounding the alarm over the global rise of measles cases, deaths, and outbreaks as vaccination rates struggle to recover from a crash during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Between 2000 and 2019, estimated worldwide coverage of the first dose of a measles-containing vaccine rose from 72 percent to 86 percent. But amid the global public health crisis in 2020, the vaccination rate fell to 83 percent, and then to 81 percent in 2021—the lowest since 2008.

According to a new joint report by WHO and the CDC published this week, coverage of first-dose measles vaccines recovered slightly in 2022, rising to 83 percent. But of 194 WHO countries, only 65 (34 percent) reached a target vaccination rate of 95 percent or above for the first measles vaccine. Further, two doses are needed to stop the disease, and the estimated coverage rate for two doses was only 74 percent in 2022, up from 71 percent in 2021. Overall, the gains in vaccination weren’t enough to prevent a comeback from the highly contagious and sometimes deadly virus.

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Author: Beth Mole. [Source Link (*), Ars Technica – All content]


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