Total number of children immunised at the end of 2011 (increase relative to the end of 2010)
GAVI to support nine more countries with routine measles vaccine
By taking steps to introduce measles second dose vaccine into their routine immunisation programmes from 2012 onwards, nine more countries in Africa and Asia are building their defences against a major vaccine-preventable killer of children.
Failure to reach uniform high coverage with two doses of measles-containing vaccine is one of the key obstacles to further reductions in the number of children dying from measles. Still one of the biggest vaccine-preventable killers of children, according to the Measles Initiative measles killed an estimated 2.6 million children in 1980 before the impact of immunisation reduced the number by over 90% to 164,000 in 2008.
“Measles is extremely difficult to control precisely because it is so contagious,” said Andrea Gay, Executive Director of Children’s Health at the UN Foundation, a partner in the Measles Initiative. “GAVI’s support for routine immunisation with two doses of measles-containing vaccines is a massive help to controlling this deadly disease,” she said.
From 2012 onwards, GAVI will also be funding the supply of measles- rubella combination vaccines as part of campaigns to reduce the impact of rubella in developing countries.