In 2022, after a multi-year decline in measles vaccination coverage, the number of measles patients increased by 18%.
The number of deaths from infection increased by 43% compared to 2021, according to the World Health Organization.
The number of patients is estimated at the level of 9 million people, and the number of the dead – at the level of 136 thousand. Most of them are children.
“The threat of measles to children continues to grow steadily. In 2022, large-scale and severe disease outbreaks occurred in 37 countries, compared to 22 countries in 2021.” – says the WHO.
The organization notes that the number of measles outbreaks is surprising, but not unexpected. In recent years, the WHO has observed a decrease in the level of vaccination.
In 2022, compared to 2021, vaccination coverage increased slightly worldwide, but the number of children who missed a dose of the vaccine was 33 million, of which almost 22 million did not receive the first dose, and another 11 million missed the second dose.
The global coverage rate for the first dose of the vaccine was 83%, well below the 95% required to protect the population from outbreaks.
The lowest rates of vaccination – only 66% – are noted in low-income countries, which have the highest risk of death from measles.
More than half of the 22 million children who missed the first dose of measles vaccine in 2022 live in just 10 countries in the world – Angola, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Pakistan and the Philippines.
In Ukraine, 20 cases of measles were registered in the first half of 2023. Despite the small number, doctors sound the alarm and call for vaccination, since the previous outbreak of the disease in 2017 also started with isolated cases.
Read also: What to do if a child has been in contact with a measles patient? Instruction of the Ministry of Health