10 FACTS ON IMMUNIZATION
1. For the first time in documented history, the number of children dying every year has fallen below ten million — partly the result of improved access to immunization, integrated delivery of essential health interventions, as well as clean water and sanitation.
2. Immunization prevents an estimated 2.5 million child deaths every year in all age groups from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), and measles. It is one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions.3. More children than ever are being reached with immunization. In 2008, an estimated 106 million children under the age of one were vaccinated with three doses of diphtheria―tetanus―pertussis (DTP3) vaccine. These children are protected against infectious diseases that can have serious consequences like illness, disability or death.
4. Despite the progress, an estimated 24 million children under the age of one did not receive the DTP3 vaccine doses in 2008. About three quarters of these children live in ten countries: Chad, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Uganda.
5. An estimated 1.3 million infants and young children die every year from pneumococcal disease and rotavirus diarrhoea. A large number of these deaths can be prevented through vaccination.
6. A large number of vaccine products are currently in the pipeline and are expected to become available by 2012. More than 80 candidate vaccines are in the late stages of clinical testing. About 30 of these candidate vaccines aim to protect against major diseases for which no licensed vaccines exist, such as dengue and malaria.
7. The Meningitis Vaccine Project is working on a new meningococcal vaccine. Meningitis A epidemics severely affect certain sub―Saharan countries. A first―generation malaria vaccine has also demonstrated some level of efficacy in young children and may be available by 2015.
8. Vaccination has led to the elimination of measles in the WHO Region of the Americas. Global measles mortality has decreased by 74% from 750 000 deaths in 2000 to 197 000 deaths in 2007, thanks to intensified vaccination campaigns.
9. Polio has been eradicated in three of WHO’s six regions and is today endemic in only four countries ― Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan ― down from 125 countries in 1988. Annual deaths from neonatal tetanus have fallen to an estimated 128 000, down from 790 000 deaths in 1988.
10. Immunization not only protects children from vaccine―preventable diseases. It also serves as a means to deliver other life―saving measures, such as vitamin A supplements to prevent malnutrition, insecticide―treated nets for protection against malaria and deworming medicine for intestinal worms.