In Pakistan, a 6-month-old sits on his mother's lap while getting his second dose of the rotavirus vaccine

UNICEF Report: The State of the World's Children 2023

Despite decades of progress and new vaccines offering broader protection against disease, the world is failing to deliver on the goal to vaccinate every child, jeopardizing many millions of young lives. An examination of what needs to be done to get back on track and succeed at reaching children who have historically missed out. 



A dangerous decline in vaccination rates poses ever more dire threats to the health of the world's children. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the world saw a sharp slide in the number of children receiving routine immunizations, leaving them vulnerable to some of the most dangerous yet preventable childhood diseases.

These unprotected children joined the ranks of those from the world's most underserved regions whose access to lifesaving vaccines was severely limited even before the pandemic began. With 1 in 5 children around the globe unvaccinated or under-vaccinated, it has never been more urgent to get those who missed out on their immunizations caught up and to do far more to bring vaccines to children historically neglected.

This year's State of the World's Children report evaluates the urgent measures required to uphold the rights of all children to the protection offered by vaccines. Recognizing COVID-19's role in undoing more than a decade of gains in childhood immunization rates and lessons learned, the report also analyzes other obstacles blocking children's access to vaccines, including poverty, conflict and misinformation.

Drawing from UNICEF's unparalleled expertise in childhood immunization, the report examines ways to strengthen health care and immunization services, combat vaccine hesitancy and improve vaccination research, administration and financing.

Read our story to learn more about how UNICEF is working to vaccinate every child. 

TOP PHOTO: In Pakistan’s Sindh province, a 6-month-old baby rests in his mother’s arms as he receives the second dose of a vaccine to guard against rotavirus. Tough on young children, the virus causes diarrhea and vomiting, which can lead to fatal dehydration if left untreated. © UNICEF/U.S. CDC/Unique Identifier/Saiyna Bashir