UN Warns of ‘Alarming’ Drop in Child Vaccines During Coronavirus
The United Nations has warned of an "alarming" decrease in the number of children receiving life-saving vaccines around the world.
The drop included vaccinations for preventable diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus and measles, the U.N. said in a statement. The U.N.'s World Health Organization and UNICEF blame the decrease on the change in routine health care caused by the coronavirus crisis.
A vaccine is a biological preparation that provides active immunity to an infectious disease. A vaccine usually contains a substance that is similar to the disease-causing illness. It tells the body's immune system to recognize the substance as a threat and destroy it.
"Vaccines are one of the most powerful tools in the history of public health, and more children are now being immunized than ever before," WHO chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.
"But the pandemic has put those gains at risk. The avoidable suffering and death caused by children missing out on routine immunizations could be far greater than COVID-19 itself."
The WHO and UNICEF said that even when vaccines are available, many children who need them are afraid to leave their homes because of the coronavirus. Others face difficulties traveling because of COVID-19 restrictions.
But even before the spread of the coronavirus, the agencies said child vaccinations were already falling. They said nearly 14 million children did not get vaccinated against measles and pertussis in 2019. Most of these children live in Africa. Economic difficulties also prevented children in Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan and the Philippines from getting the needed vaccine.
COVID-19 has made routine vaccinations a major "challenge," UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said. She said vaccination programs need to be restarted urgently "before children's lives are threatened by other diseases. We cannot trade one health crisis for another."
The WHO says that before the spread of the coronavirus, more than 116 million, or 86 percent, of all babies born had been vaccinated every year for the past 10 years.
More than 20 life-threatening diseases can now be prevented by immunization, the WHO reports. In addition, new vaccines for major killers like diarrhea, cervical cancer, cholera and meningitis are being introduced in several countries, the agency said.
I'm Susan Shand.
My guess is that the chance that these vaccines will work is zero.
Someone introduced us and I sat next to him.
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Vitamin A treatment and measles immunization were protective.
5.But the pandemic has put those gains at risk.
at risk 处于危险中
The crisis could well place the relationship at risk
This was not an academic exercise — soldiers 'lives were at risk
6.We cannot trade one health crisis for another.
health crisis 健康危机
The government was aware of the issue and failed to stop this avoidable public health crisis.
The authors warned that obesity has become a public health crisis in the U.S..
联合国在一份声明中表示，接种人数下降的疫苗包括白喉、破伤风和麻疹等可预防疾病的疫苗 。世卫组织和联合国儿童基金会将这种下降归咎于新冠病毒危机导致的常规卫生保健工作的变化 。
疫苗是一种可对传染病提供主动免疫的生物制剂 。疫苗通常包含与致病疾病类似的物质 。它告诉人体免疫系统将该物质识别为威胁并将其摧毁 。
“但是大流行使得这些成就处于危险之中 。儿童因错过接种常规疫苗而造成的可避免的痛苦和死亡可能要远远超过了新冠肺炎本身 。”
世卫组织和联合国儿童基金会表示，即使可以接种疫苗，很多需要接种的儿童也因为新冠病毒而不敢出门 。还有人由于新冠肺炎的限制而出行困难 。
但是这些机构表示，甚至在新冠病毒传播之前，儿童疫苗接种人数已经开始下降 。他们表示，2019年有将近1400万儿童没有接种麻疹和百日咳疫苗 。这些儿童大多生活在非洲 。经济困难也阻止了巴西、印度、印尼、墨西哥、巴基斯坦和菲律宾的儿童获得所需疫苗 。
联合国儿童基金会执行主任亨利埃塔·福尔说，新冠肺炎已经使得常规疫苗接种成为了一项巨大的挑战 。她说，我们必须要在儿童生命受到其它疾病威胁之前，紧急重启疫苗接种项目 。我们不能用一种健康危机来换取另一种 。
世卫组织报告称，现在可以通过免疫来预防20多种可威胁生命的疾病 。该机构表示，此外，一些国家开始引入腹泻、宫颈癌、霍乱和脑膜炎等主要致命疾病的新疫苗 。