Faith in children’s vaccines has gone up in India, says UNICEF

Source: The post is based on the article “Faith in children’s vaccines has gone up in India, says UNICEF” published in The Hindu on 21st April 2023

What is the News?

UNICEF has released the report titled ‘The State of the World’s Children 2023: For Every Child, Vaccination’.

What are the key findings of the report?

Vaccine hesitancy on the rise: The public perception of the importance of vaccines for children declined during the COVID-19 pandemic in 52 out of 55 countries studied.

China, India and Mexico were the only countries examined where the perception of the importance of vaccines remained stable or even improved.

– The report warns the confluence of several factors suggests the threat of vaccine hesitancy may be growing. These factors include uncertainty about the response to the pandemic, growing access to misleading information, declining trust in expertise, and political polarization.

Childhood vaccination: The pandemic interrupted childhood vaccination almost everywhere, especially due to intense demands on health systems, the diversion of immunization resources to COVID-19 vaccination, health worker shortages and stay-at-home measures.

– The report warns a total of 67 million children missed out on vaccinations between 2019 and 2021, with vaccination coverage levels decreasing in 112 countries. 

– In 2022, for example, the number of measles cases was more than double the total in the previous year. The number of children paralyzed by polio was up 16 per cent year-on-year in 2022.

Deepening inequalities: The Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated existing inequalities related to vaccination.

– Overall, in low and middle-income countries, one in 10 children in urban areas and one in six in rural areas had not received a single routine vaccination.

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