Ten worst countries for child vaccination

Great progress has been made in the movement to vaccinate all children to prevent serious diseases — but 20 percent of children, mostly in poor countries, still miss out.

By James Addis, World Vision U.S.
Published November 24, 2012 at 12:00am PST

A new report reveals that more than half the children in the world who miss out on routine vaccinations in infancy come from just three countries.

The report, “Global Routine Vaccination Coverage, 2011 ,”  published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says that of the 22.4 million children who failed to receive a complete course of the DTP vaccine in 2011, almost 12 million of them (53 percent) came from India, Nigeria, and Indonesia.

DTP prevents diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), and pertussis (whooping cough).

Ten worst countries for vaccinations

The 10 worst countries for DTP coverage (identifed as the percentage of children failing to get three DTP doses) are:

1. India: 32 percent*
2. Nigeria: 14 percent
3. Indonesia: 7 percent*
4. Ethiopia: 5.2 percent*
5. Pakistan: 4 percent*
6. Democratic Republic of the Congo: 3.4 percent*
7. Philippines: 2 percent*
8. Afghanistan: 1.8 percent*
9. Chad: 1.6 percent*
10. South Africa: 1.4 percent*

*Indicates countries where World Vision is working to improve child health and reduce poverty.

DTP is one of the four standard vaccines recommended by the World Health Organization. The other standard vaccines protect against tuberculosis, polio, and measles. 

More work needs to be done

The report notes that in 1974, less than 5 percent of the world’s children received all four of the routinely recommended vaccines.

Today, about 80 percent of them do. But the report says more work needs to be done to reach the remaining 20 percent of children, mostly in poor countries, who miss out.

“Strengthening routine immunization services, especially in countries with the greatest number of under-vaccinated children, should be a global priority,” the report says.

Widening vaccination coverage will help achieve the fourth Millennium Development Goal , which aims to reduce mortality of children under 5 by two-thirds by 2015.

Leaders of all United Nations’ member states adopted the Millennium Development Goals in 2000. The eight goals seek the radical reduction of the most extreme forms of poverty.

How you can help

Thank God for the progress made in efforts to protect all children from serious diseases through vaccination. Pray that we would be able to reach the remaining 20 percent with these live-saving interventions.

Make a one-time gift to help provide vaccinations for children. Your gift will help save children’s lives by providing 15 vaccines to protect them from measles, whooping cough, diphtheria, hepatitis, polio, and tetanus.