Subscribe Audio Hub Experts underscore COVID-19 threat to global progress on child immunization

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Global experts in health and child welfare have again highlighted how the COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting access to routine immunization services worldwide, putting millions of young lives at risk of killer diseases such as diphtheria, measles and pneumonia.The WHO chief was addressing journalists listening in to his latest virtual briefing on the crisis, where he was joined by the head of the UN children’s agency, UNICEF, and a top official from the global vaccine alliance, GAVI.
Decades of progress at risk However, the COVID-19 pandemic means routine immunization services are now substantially hindered in nearly 70 countries, with roughly 80 million children under a year old, likely to be affected.Parents have also been reluctant, or unable, to go to vaccination sites due to fears surrounding transmission, or because of movement restrictions.“However, we cannot let our fight against one disease come at the expense of long-term progress in our fight against other diseases”, she said.

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