Current status + progress
A record 123 million children were immunized globally in 2017 but 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. Children under 5 deaths from measles, a major child killer, declined by 85 per cent worldwide and by 89 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa between 2000 and 2016. And as of March 2018, all but 14 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 2017, global coverage rates for the third dose of the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine (DTP3) reached 85 per cent, up from 72 per cent in 2000 and 21 percent in 1980. Still, progress has stalled over the current decade, and 71 countries have yet to achieve the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) target of 90 per cent or greater coverage of DTP3. 19.9 million children under 1 year of age worldwide did not receive the three recommended doses of DTP in 2017, and 20.8 million children in the same age group had failed to receive a single dose of measles-containing vaccine.