Zero-dose: The children missing out on life-saving vaccines

World Immunization Week Interactive dashboard

April 2023

Ahead of World Immunization Week, UNICEF has published the 2023 State of the World’s Children report (SOWC), which shines a spotlight back onto routine childhood vaccines as 67 million children missed out on routine immunizations between 2019 and 2021.

Immunization services are a core part of primary health care and are one of the most cost-effective public health interventions for reducing child death and disability from vaccine-preventable diseases. However, decades of progress in increasing immunization coverage is now in peril.

Since 2019, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of zero-dose children globally due to COVID-19 disruptions, increased economic crises and conflict, and declines in vaccine confidence. Huge inequities exist between regions, with the highest prevalence of zero-dose children in the African regions, but inequities also exist within regions. To turn the tide on this unprecedented increase in zero-dose children, it is essential to know who and where these children are so we can reach every child with life-saving vaccinations.

This dashboard aims to raise awareness of the concerning trends and inequities in the number and prevalence of zero-dose children by showing the uneven distribution of zero-dose children globally and by residence, wealth, mother’s education and sex. More information can be found in the State of the World’s Children 2023 report and on the Immunization section of the website.