STORY: UNICEF / MEASLES VACCINE
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT UNICEF ON SCREEN
DATELINE: MARCH 2019, VARIOUS LOCATIONS
MARCH 2019, KAYES REGION, MALI
1. Close up, vaccinator with the syringe.
2. Med shot, child being vaccinated against measles at Kayes Plateau market
3. Close up, measles vaccines
4. Various shots, health worker vaccinating children
5. Close up, child with measles
6. Med shot, child being treated
MARCH 2019, EASTERN SAMAR, THE PHILIPPINES
7. Close up, seven-month old baby with measles
8. Med shot, eight-year old child being vaccinated for measles
9. Wide shot, nurse interviewing a mother and children
10. Close up, child getting a vaccine
11. Wide shot, nurse interviewing a mother outside a house
12. Close up, nurse preparing vaccine
13. Med shot, four-year old child getting a vaccine
MARCH 2019, MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES
14. Wide shot, UNICEF staff interviewing a grandmother
15. Wide shot, nurses, health workers, parents, and children inside Health Center during a routine immunization
16. Wide shot, nurse interviewing parents; other parents and children coming in and out of the center
17. Close up, nurse preparing vaccine
18. Close up, Baby getting a vaccine
19. Close up, Mother carrying child
MARCH 2019, KYIV, UKRAINE
20. Wide shot, child are being vaccinated against measles
21. Med shot, father with baby
22. Close up, nurse writing in record book
23. Close up, vaccine being prepared
MARCH 2019, LVIV, UKRAINE
24. Wide shot, girl being vaccinated against measles
25. Wide shot, girl and mother after vaccination
26. Various shots, children and adults are being treated for measles
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that an estimated 169 million children missed out on the first dose of the measles vaccine between 2010 and 2017, or 21.1 million children a year on average.
Widening pockets of unvaccinated children have created a pathway to the measles outbreaks hitting several countries around the world today.
In the first three months of 2019, more than 110,000 measles cases were reported worldwide – up nearly 300 per cent from the same period last year. An estimated 110,000 people, most of them children, died from measles in 2017, a 22 per cent increase from the year before.
Two doses of the measles vaccine are essential to protect children from the disease. However, due to lack of access, poor health systems, complacency, and in some cases fear or skepticism about vaccines, the global coverage of the first dose of the measles vaccine was reported at 85 per cent in 2017, a figure that has remained relatively constant over the last decade despite population growth. Global coverage for the second dose is much lower, at 67 per cent. The World Health Organization recommends a threshold of 95 per cent immunization coverage to achieve so-called ‘herd immunity’.
In high income countries, while coverage with the first dose is 94 per cent, coverage for the second dose drops to 91 per cent, according to the latest data.
The United States tops the list of high-income countries with the most children not receiving the first dose of the vaccine between 2010 and 2017, at more than 2.5 million. It is followed by France and the United Kingdom, with over 600,000 and 500,000 unvaccinated infants, respectively, during the same period.
In low- and middle-income countries, the situation is critical. In 2017, for example, Nigeria had the highest number of children under one year of age who missed out on the first dose, at nearly 4 million. It was followed by India (2.9 million), Pakistan and Indonesia (1.2 million each), and Ethiopia (1.1 million).
Worldwide coverage levels of the second dose of the measles vaccines are even more alarming. Of the top 20 countries with the largest number of unvaccinated children in 2017, 9 have not introduced the second dose. Twenty-countries in sub-Saharan Africa have not introduced the necessary second dose in the national vaccination schedule, putting over 17 million infants a year at higher risk of measles during their childhood.
UNICEF, with partners such as the Measles and Rubella Initiative and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is helping address this measles crisis by negotiating vaccine prices: the cost of the measles vaccine is now at an all-time low; helping countries identify underserved areas and unreached children; procuring vaccines and other immunization supplies; supporting supplementary vaccination campaigns to address gaps in routine immunization coverage; working with relevant countries to introduce the second dose of the measles vaccine in the national immunization schedule. Cameroon, Liberia and Nigeria are on track to do so in 2019, and introducing innovations like the use of solar power and mobile technologies to maintain vaccines at the right temperature.