The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for focused efforts to provide life-saving vaccines to nearly 4.6 million unvaccinated children in Southeast Asia.
The number of unvaccinated children has more than doubled from 2 million in 2019 to 4.6 million in the region by 2021, despite efforts by countries to maintain or restore routine childhood immunisation.
Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO, South-East Asia, emphasized the need to urgently address gaps and challenges in vaccination caused by the COVID
The workshop aims to strengthen routine immunization capacities post-Covid
by reviewing catch-up immunisation activities and special campaigns, and identifying the behavioral and social drivers of immunization to guide focused interventions and strategies to engage communities to accelerate the demand for vaccination.
The article reports on the decline in vaccination coverage in the region during the COVID
-19 pandemic, which has led to an increase in the number of unvaccinated and under-vaccinated children.
In 2019, the immunisation coverage crossed 90%, but it declined to 82% in 2021.
The number of zero-dose children also declined from 5 million in 2010 to 2 million in 2019.