World Health Organisation (WHO) says 33 million children in Africa will need vaccinations between 2023 and 2025 to put the continent back on track to meet the 2030 global immunization goals, which include lowering morbidity and mortality from vaccine-preventable diseases.
The Organisation made this disclosure during World Immunization Week to draw attention to the need for group activities and to encourage the use of immunizations to protect individuals of all ages from disease.
The setback was due to the sudden impact of Covid-19, which drove up the number of zero-dose and under-immunised children by 16% between 2019 and 2021.
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO regional director for Africa said the pandemic has seriously set back the region’s vaccination efforts and left millions of children vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases that can cause serious illness and even death,” said.
Dr Joseph Cabore, director of Programme management and the WHO regional office for Africa, said in 2023, 31 African countries experienced an outbreak of vaccine-preventable diseases.