Vaccination coverage

In spite of its undisputed success of immunization efforts, 1.5 million deaths still occur each year from vaccine-preventable diseases. Increasing and sustained immunization efforts have allowed to eradicate small-pox and to lower the global incidence of polio so far by 99%. Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, measles and Hib were also dramatically reduced preventing illness, disability and death over the years. But immunization is still an ongoing challenge. 

Globally, immunization coverage has increased by only 1% globally since 2010 for all vaccine-preventable diseases. But the differences from one country to another remain very important. In 2015, an estimated 19.4 million infants worldwide were not reached with routine immunization services such as diphteria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine (DTP3). Around 60% of these children live in 10 countries: Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Ukraine.

History clearly shows that a decrease in immunization coverage sets the stage of the reappearance of disease in previously protected populations. 

During 2012, 48,277 cases of pertussis were reported to CDC, including 20 pertussis-related deaths. This was the most reported cases since 1955. This clearly illustrates that continued vigilance and maximizing vaccine coverage are crucial to control and eradicate some infectious diseases in the future.

To protect and improve human health worldwide Sanofi Pasteur makes a major contribution to meeting global goals outlined in the Vaccines Alliance (Gavi) milestones for selective immunization goals. These include by 2020, all countries are aiming to achieve vaccination coverage of at least 90% nationally and at least 80% in every district.

With stable and high vaccination coverage, disease declines and can even be eliminated. For example, polio cases have decreased by over 99% since 1988, from an estimated 350 000 cases then, to 37 reported cases in 2016. As a result of the global effort to eradicate the disease, more than 16 million people have been saved from paralysis.

According to the WHO, as long as a single child remains infected, children in all countries are at risk of contracting polio. Failure to eradicate polio from these last remaining strongholds could result in as many as 200 000 new cases every year, within 10 years, all over the world.

For more information, please the World Health Organization web site.