WHO: Nearly 1 in 5 babies still missed by vaccines

Oct 21, 2009

(AP) -- A record 106 million infants were vaccinated last year against life-threatening diseases, but nearly 1 in 5 babies still aren't fully protected, global health authorities reported Wednesday.

To get the full round of first-year vaccinations to children in the poorest countries will take another $1 billion a year, says the report from the , UNICEF and World Bank.

Most of the unprotected babies are in Asia and Africa, particularly in rural or strife-torn areas that are difficult for aid workers to reach.

It's a good investment, the report argued. Vaccination is preventing 2.5 million child deaths a year. But if 90 percent of the world's children under age 5 got the vaccinations that are routine in wealthy countries, another 2 million deaths a year could be prevented by 2015.

"We must overcome the divide that separates rich from poor, between those who get lifesaving vaccines and those who don't," said Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the WHO.

The report suggests that overcoming that gap may be a bigger challenge in coming years: In 2000, the world was spending, on average, $6 per live birth on vaccinations in . That's expected to be $18 by next year and could rise above $30 as newer, more expensive vaccines become available.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: New Dominican law OKs abortion if life at risk

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study: 2 million babies and mothers die at birth

Oct 07, 2009

(AP) -- More than 2 million babies and mothers die worldwide each year from childbirth complications, outnumbering child deaths from malaria and HIV/AIDS, according to a study.

WHO approves cervical cancer vaccine Cervarix

Jul 09, 2009

(AP) -- The World Health Organization has approved a second cervical cancer vaccine, this one made by GlaxoSmithKline, meaning U.N. agencies and partners can now officially buy millions of doses of the vaccine for poor countries ...

Recommended for you

The hunt for botanicals

Dec 19, 2014

Herbal medicine can be a double-edged sword and should be more rigorously investigated for both its beneficial and harmful effects, say researchers writing in a special supplement of Science.

Mozambique decriminalises abortion to stem maternal deaths

Dec 19, 2014

Mozambique has passed a law permitting women to terminate unwanted pregnancies under specified conditions, a move hailed by activists in a country where clandestine abortions account for a large number of maternal deaths.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.