For the first time, WHO is publishing immunization coverage data at the subnational level reported by 140 Member States worldwide.
Data for over 20 000 subnational entities were received, which represents about two-thirds of all the surviving infants worldwide. The information is essential for countries to target their efforts to address gaps and increase immunization coverage.
Measles no longer endemic in 79% of the WHO European Region
The number of countries in the Region that have demonstrated interruption of measles and rubella continues to increase and now stands at 42 for measles and 37 for rubella.
However, Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, warns that immunization coverage is decreasing. One in every 15 children does not receive the first vaccination dose against measles and rubella on time.
Region of the Americas eliminates maternal and neonatal tetanus
The Region of the Americas has eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT), a disease that used to be responsible for the deaths of more than 10 000 newborns every year in the Americas.
The elimination of the disease was declared this year in Haiti. MNT is the sixth vaccine-preventable disease to be eliminated from the Americas.
A newly launched Advancing Maternal Immunization (AMI) collaboration is bringing together stakeholders from around the world to improve infant health and survival through maternal immunization, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
The collaboration is meeting an urgent need for pregnant mothers to be able to protect their babies from infectious diseases by getting vaccinated themselves.