Inside Story

How to improve childhood vaccination rates disrupted by COVID-19?

Measles cases are up 80 percent as the pandemic disrupts routine immunisation campaigns.

For the past two years, the world has focused its attention on battling COVID-19.

But that’s disrupted prevention and treatment programmes for other diseases.

Millions of children have missed out on crucial vaccinations for preventable illnesses, including measles, polio and yellow fever.

The World Health Organization says measles cases jumped by nearly 80 percent in January and February, compared to the same period last year.

Nearly 17 million kids did not get a single vaccine in 2020.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says 57 mass immunisation campaigns in 44 countries have been suspended since the coronavirus pandemic began.

So, what should be done to put child vaccinations back on track?

Presenter: Dareen Abughaida


Dr Nadeem Jan – Public health physician who led Pakistan’s polio vaccine programme

Shabir Madhi – Dean of the faculty of health sciences and professor of vaccinology, University of the Witwatersrand

Dr Bharat Pankhania – Senior clinical lecturer, University of Exeter Medical School