India had the world’s highest number of children who did not receive their first dose of Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (DTP) vaccine in 2020 amid the situation arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic. This information was given by the United Nations. The world body expressed concern that last year 23 million children in the world did not receive this dose of vaccine given through routine immunization services due to the constraints caused by Kovid-19.
Figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) and UN children’s agency UNICEF show that 23 million children could not get this vaccine under routine health services in 2020. This is the highest number of such children since 2009 and 37 lakh more than in 2019. These figures for worldwide overall child immunization are the first official figures to show that COVID-19 has disrupted global services. These figures show that child vaccination rates have declined in most countries over the past year.
“Worryingly, most of these (17 million children) are likely not to receive a single vaccine in a year, which will exacerbate the already existing inequalities in access to vaccines,” the UN said. The global body said most of these children are from conflict-affected communities, living in remote areas or informally in slums where they face many challenges such as lack of basic health and key social services.
Dr Dros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, said, ‘Countries are struggling to obtain COVID-19 vaccines but we have lagged behind in other vaccinations and children are exposed to devastating but preventable diseases such as measles, polio and meningitis. Leaving for the risk of diseases.
The United Nations said that India has the largest number of children in the world who have not received the first dose of DTP vaccine. In India, 1.4 million children did not receive their first dose of DTP-1 vaccine in 2019 and this number increased to 3 million in 2020. “A particularly large decline is being observed in India where the coverage of DTP-3 has come down from 91 per cent to 85 per cent,” the agencies said.