HealthDay News — Pandemic-related disruptions in routine childhood vaccine coverage occurred worldwide in 2020, with the highest disruptions seen in April 2020, according to a study published online July 14 in The Lancet.
Kate Causey, M.P.H., from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, and colleagues estimated disruptions in vaccine coverage associated with the pandemic in 2020 globally and by Global Burden of Disease (GBD) super-region. The numbers of children who missed routinely delivered doses of the third-dose diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP3) vaccine and first-dose measles-containing vaccine (MCV1) in 2020 were estimated.
The researchers found that in 2020, estimated vaccine coverage was 76.7 percent for DTP3 and 78.9 percent for MCV1 globally, representing relative reductions of 7.7 and 7.9 percent, respectively, compared with expected doses delivered in the absence of the COVID-19 pandemic. An estimated 30.0 and 27.2 million children missed doses of DTP3 and MCV1, respectively, from January to December 2020. These estimates represent an additional 8.5 and 8.9 million children not routinely vaccinated with DTP3 and MCV1, respectively, attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic compared with expected gaps in coverage for eligible children in 2020. Monthly reductions were highest in April 2020 globally, and every GBD super-region saw reductions in vaccine coverage in March and April. During the second half of 2020, estimates suggested that monthly doses were delivered at or above expected levels in some super-regions.
“Moving forward, the world should build upon the lessons learned about adaptive and resilient routine immunization programs during COVID-19 and strive to provide more equitable, sustainable vaccine services for all,” the authors write.