The number of measles-related deaths has dropped by 79% since 2000 ─ from 546 800 to 114 900 in 2014. New data estimates that 17.1 million lives have been saved since the beginning of the century, largely due to increased vaccination coverage against this highly contagious viral disease. However, overall progress towards increasing global immunization coverage has recently stagnated.
Globally, 1 in 5 children still do not receive routine life-saving immunizations, and an estimated 1.5 million children die each year of diseases that could be prevented by vaccines that already exist. WHO recommends how to reduce the pain at the time of vaccination across all age groups.
In a new position paper published in today’s edition of the Weekly Epidemiological Record, WHO provides recommendations to reduce pain and anxiety during vaccination which can be applied in all countries worldwide.
WHO welcomes the appointment of the Chair-elect of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. She will take up the position of Chair from January 2016. Dr Okonjo-Iweala is the former Nigerian Finance Minister and she brings more than 33 years of development and financial expertise to the Gavi Board at a critical period for immunization in developing countries.