The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed grave concern that one-fifth of the world’s children do not receive routine life-saving vaccination.
Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele, director of the WHO Department of Immunization in Geneva, expressed concern on Wednesday that “there are still 1.5 million premature deaths due to vaccine preventable diseases each year.”
Back in 2013, some 22 million infants missed out on routine vaccination against diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus (DTP3). Most of the unvaccinated children belong to the world’s poorest countries, while almost half of them live in India, Pakistan and Nigeria.
The cost of vaccines, weak health systems and lack of access in poorer countries, as well as armed conflicts and insecurity, are among some reasons mentioned for the lack of progress.