Vaccination: Numbers to Note

Here’s what vaccination has done for global health so far…

350 000

The estimated number of worldwide polio cases in 1988. This number is now 482, a reduction of more than 99% as of 2013 thanks to childhood vaccination campaigns. In fact, according to Unicef, polio is on the verge of eradication.

polioChildren with polio at the Cheshire Home for Handicapped Children, Freetown, Sierra Leone.

787 000

The number of newborn babies that died from tetanus in 1988. This number has decreased by 94% since the development of tetanus immunisation.

3 MILLION

The number of deaths from diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and measles prevented each year by vaccination.

vaccination happyEvery year, vaccines save the lives of 2-3 million children.

15.6 MILLION

The number of measles deaths prevented by measles vaccination during 2000-2013 worldwide, a 75% decrease.

112 MILLIONtdap

The number of infants vaccinated with 3 doses of DTP (Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis) in 2013.

However, despite major progress, many of the world’s children still do not have access to the full potential of immunisation. There are still millions of children who aren’t protected against these deadly infectious diseases.

 

1.5 MILLION

The total number of children under the age of five who died from diseases preventable by vaccines currently recommended by World Health Organization.

Number of child deaths from:

  • Haemophilus influenza type B: 199 000
  • Diptheria: 2500
  • Pertussis: 195 000
  • Measles: 122 000
  • Neonatal tetanus: 59 000
  • Tetanus (non-neonatal): 12 000
  • Pneumococcal disease: 476 000
  • Rotavirus: 453 000

boy

21.6 MILLION

The number of children in the world under the age of one who failed to receive a single dose of measles-containing vaccine as of end-2013.

  • Nine out of ten of these children will be infected if exposed to the virus – that’s over 19 million children at risk of developing measles.
  • In populations with high levels of malnutrition and a lack of adequate health care, up to 10% of measles cases result in death.
  • The most serious complications include blindness, encephalitis (an infection that causes brain swelling), severe diarrhoea, dehydration, ear infections, or severe respiratory infections such as pneumonia.
  • There is no specific treatment against the measles virus. The best policy is prevention!

    measles rashMeasles rash on a child’s back.

somaliaA child in Somalia who is suffering from measles infection.

21.8 MILLION

The number of children in the world under the age of one who did NOT receive three doses of DTP vaccine as of end-2013. That’s 1 in 5 children who are missing out on a life-saving vaccine.

The majority of these children live in developing countries such as Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Vietnam and South Africa. Therefore, efforts to raise global immunisation levels will require a strong focus on these countries.

piGlobal distribution of the number of children who did not receive three doses of DTP-containing vaccine during 2013 (in millions).

Vaccines are often too expensive for the world’s poorest countries. Vaccine supply shortages and a lack of trained health workers contribute to this disparity in immunisation rates. Also, unreliable transportation systems and storage facilities make it difficult to preserve the vaccines that require refrigeration.

1

One 4 week-old baby has recently passed away in our hometown Perth, Western Australia from whooping cough, also known as pertussis. Baby Riley was too young to have started the infant vaccination program that could have protected him from the disease, and probably caught the disease from someone who was unvaccinated. This was the first death from the disease in Western Australia since 2011. See the news article here.

One death from a vaccine-preventable disease is one too many. In honour of baby Riley, please sign this petition to make Whooping cough (Pertussis) immunisations and boosters for Australian adults free or of minimal charge, get yourself and your children immunised, and urge your friends and family to do the same. If you are not from Australia, you could sign or create a petition in your own hometown or country.

What is being done about Global Vaccination?banner

World Health Organisation’s (WHO) World Immunisation Week is celebrated in the last week of April (24-30) and aims to promote vaccine use to protect people of all ages against disease.

This year, World Immunisation Week will be signalling a renewed global, regional, and national effort to increase the awareness and demand for immunisation by communities, and improve vaccination delivery services.gap poster

This year’s campaign will focus on closing the immunisation gap and reaching equity in immunisation levels as outlined in the Global Vaccine Action Plan.

This plan – endorsed by the World Health Assembly in 2012 ― is a framework to prevent millions of deaths by 2020 through universal access to vaccines for people in all communities.

Aims of the Global Vaccine Action Plan:

  • To strengthen routine immunisation to meet vaccination coverage targets
  • To accelerate control of vaccine-preventable diseases with polio eradication as the first milestone
  • To introduce new and improved vaccines
  • To increase research and development for the next generation of vaccine technology

Your gift can save children’s lives by providing vaccines to prevent them from measles, polio and so on. You can help. Click here to donate to World Vision’s vaccination program. You can also donate to UNICEF – for just $18 you can help prevent measles for 50 children.

What you can do to protect yourself and those around you:

  • Know what vaccines are available to protect against disease
  • Be motivated to check your vaccination status and that of your family and friends
  • Get the vaccines you need to protect yourself and your family from your local health practitioner
  • Be up to date with yearly vaccinations (e.g. seasonal flu vaccine)
  • Spread the word about vaccinations!

happy boy

Thanks for reading our post – we hope you have learned something new, and now have a greater understanding of the current situation in global vaccination. Keep an eye out for our next post – one for the skeptics and the anti-vaxxers. We tell you some reasons why people choose not to vaccinate, and why anti-vaccination is a dangerous threat to the health of mankind. See you then!

Text References

Fact sheet: Measles [Internet]. Geneva (CH): World Health Organization (CH); 2015 Feb [cited 2015 Mar 14]. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs286/en/

Gates Foundation (WA). Vaccine Delivery [Internet]. Seattle (WA): Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; 2015 [cited 2015 Mar 15]. Available from: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/what-we-do/global-development/vaccine-delivery

Global Health Observatory Data (CH). Immunization [Internet]. Geneva (CH): World Health Organization; 2015 Feb [cited 2015 Mar 14]. Available from: http://www.who.int/gho/immunization/en/

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Data (US). Immunization – Current Status and Progress [Internet]. New York City (NY): UNICEF; 2015 Jan [cited 2015 Mar 14]. Available from: http://data.unicef.org/child-health/immunization

World Health Organization (WHO) (CH). 10 facts on immunization [Internet]. Geneva (CH): WHO; 2012 Apr [updated 2014 Mar 29; cited 2015 Mar 14]. Available from: http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/immunization/en/

World Health Organization (WHO) (CH). Global Immunization Data [Internet]. Geneva (CH): WHO; 2014 Jul [updated 2014 Aug 1; cited 2015 Mar 14]. Available from: http://www.who.int/immunization/monitoring_surveillance/global_immunization_data.pdf

World Health Organization (WHO) (CH). Tetanus [Internet]. Geneva (CH): WHO; 2014 Dec [cited 2015 Mar 14]. Available from: http://www.who.int/immunization/diseases/tetanus/en/

World Health Organization (WHO) (CH). World Immunization Week: 24-30 April 2014 [Internet]. Geneva (CH): WHO; 2014 Apr [cited 2015 Mar 15]. Available from: http://www.who.int/campaigns/immunization-week/2014/event/en/

World Health Organization (WHO) (CH). World Immunization Week 2015: Close the immunization gap [Internet]. Geneva (CH): WHO; 2015 Jan [cited 2015 Mar 15]. Available from: http://www.who.int/campaigns/immunization-week/2015/event/en/

Image References

De Souza, C/AFP/Getty Images. Is The Disneyland Measles Outbreak A Turning Point In The Vaccine Wars? [Internet]. Jersey City (NJ): Forbes; 2015 [cited 2015 Mar 15]. [Figure], A child in Somalia with measles. Available from: http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2015/02/04/the-disneyland-measles-outbreak-is-a-turning-point-in-the-vaccine-wars/

Santos, AJ. 10 reasons vaccines are the best protector of human life [Internet]. Seattle (WA): PATH; 2014 [cited 2014 Mar 15]. [Figure], Schoolgirl with a broad smile receives a shot in her upper arm as her schoolmates watch. Available from: http://www.path.org/blog/2014/04/10-reasons-vaccines-are-best/

Singh, P/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images. Seattle Group Paying F.D.A. for Work on a Pneumococcal Disease Vaccine [Internet]. New York City (NY): The New York Times; 2010 [cited 2015 Mar 15]. [Figure], Pneumococcal Disease. Available from: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/02/health/02glob.html?_r=0

Watney Collection/Phototake. Slideshow: Childhood Illnesses Every Parent Should Know [Internet]. Atlanta (GA): WebMD; 2011 [cited 2015 Mar 15]. [Figure], Measles. Available from: http://img.webmd.com/dtmcms/live/webmd/consumer_assets/site_images/articles/health_tools/childhood_illnesses_slideshow/phototake_rm_photo_of_measles_on_childs_back.jpg

Vaccine News Daily. Tdap vaccine declared safe for adults over 65 [Internet]. Chicago (IL): Vaccine News Daily; 2012 [cited 2015 Mar 15]. [Figure], Tdap vials. Available from: http://vaccinenewsdaily.com/medical_countermeasures/320913-tdap-vaccine-declared-safe-for-adults-over-65/

World Health Organization. Close the immunization gap [Internet]. Geneva (CH): World Health Organization, 2015 [cited 2015 Mar 15]. [Figure], A child being vaccinated. Available from: http://www.who.int/campaigns/immunization-week/2015/en/

World Health Organization. Close the immunization gap [Internet]. Geneva (CH): World Health Organization, 2015 [cited 2015 Mar 15]. [Figure], World Immunization Week 2015 Banner. Available from: http://www.who.int/campaigns/immunization-week/2015/en/

World Health Organization. Close the immunization gap [Internet]. Geneva (CH): World Health Organization, 2015 [cited 2015 Mar 15]. [Figure], World Immunization Week 2015 Poster. Available from: http://www.who.int/campaigns/immunization-week/2015/en/

World Health Organization. Polio Photos [Internet]. Saint Paul (MN): Immunization Action Coalition; 2007 [cited 2014 Mar 15]. [Figure], Cheshire Home for Handicapped Children, Freetown, Sierra Leone. Available from: http://www.vaccineinformation.org/polio/photos.asp

World Health Organisation/The United Nations Children’s Fund. Immunization – Current Status and Progress [Internet]. New York City (NY): The United Nations Children’s Fund; 2013 [cited 2015 Mar 15]. [Figure], Global distribution of the number of children who did not receive three doses of DTP-containing vaccine during 2013 (millions). Available from: http://data.unicef.org/child-health/immunization#figimage_59

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