A recent study published by the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week suggests that measles vaccination rates dropped throughout the pandemic period and “hit the lowest coverage rate in more than a decade.”
The study observes that “although global measles vaccinations mostly improved from 2000 to 2021, the Covid-19 pandemic presented a setback in the efforts to eliminate the disease.”
As Amanda Sealy notes, global coverage with the first dose of the measles vaccines increased from 72per cent in 2000 to 86 per cent in 2019.
However, according to the data from 194 World Health Organization member states from six regions that “have committed to eliminating measles” the rate dropped to 83 per cent in 2020 and continued to fall to 81 per cent in 2021. This, according to the researchers, is the lowest coverage rate since 2008.
In addition, the researchers observed that “in 2021 that 24.7 million infants didn’t receive their first dose, an increase of 2.4 million children without protection from the previous year.”
According to the research, annual estimated measles deaths also decreased 83 per cent from 2000 to 2021, from 761,000 to 128,000. At least 56 million measles deaths, researchers say, were prevented by vaccination.