Immunization remains one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions. As the largest single vaccine buyer in the world, UNICEF has helped quadruple immunization rates for children globally since 1980, saving as many as 3 million young lives every year. That's more than five lives saved every minute of every day.
As a direct result of immunization, polio is on the verge of being eradicated. All but 12 countries have eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus, a centuries-old disease that is almost always fatal in newborns. And vaccination is the world's best chance at defeating COVID-19.
Despite progress by UNICEF and partners, however, millions of children globally continue to miss out on lifesaving vaccines. In 2020, the COVID-19 crisis disrupted routine immunization services for millions of children in dozens of countries.
Even when vaccines are available, the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate affects coverage, opening the door to new outbreaks. Vaccine hesitancy — named one of the top ten threats to public health by the World Health Organization — has been blamed for a global resurgence of measles, including in high- and middle-income countries.
Why aren't kids getting the immunizations they need to survive and thrive?
Why are immunizations one of the most cost-effective public health investments?
We’re most protected from deadly diseases when we are all protected together.