Current status + progress
In 2018, 116 million children were immunized against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP) yet millions of children are still not reached by potentially life-saving vaccines
Immunization is one of the most cost-effective public health interventions to date, averting an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year. As a direct result of immunization, the world is closer than ever to eradicating polio, with only three remaining polio endemic countries – Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. Deaths from measles, a major child killer, declined by 80 per cent worldwide between 2000 and 2017 preventing an estimated 21.1 million deaths. And as of March 2019, all but 13 countries have eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus, a disease with a fatality rate of 70 to 100 per cent among newborns.
The percentage of children receiving the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine (DTP) is often used as an indicator of how well countries are providing routine immunization services. In 2018, global coverage rates for the third dose of the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine (DTP3) reached 86 per cent, up from 72 per cent in 2000 and 20 percent in 1980. Still, progress has stalled over the current decade, and 83 countries have yet to achieve the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) target of 90 per cent or greater coverage of DTP3. 19.4 million children under 1 year of age worldwide did not receive the three recommended doses of DTP in 2018, and an estimated 13.5 million children in the same age group did not benefit from any vaccination.