UNICEF warned that Europe could face measles outbreak

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — European countries may face a massive outbreak of measles if routine vaccination, suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, does not immediately resume, RIA Novosti Afshan Khan, Regional Director of the UN Children’s Fund for Europe and Central Asia said.

“I think that in Europe, if we do not restore vaccination coverage, we run the risk of an outbreak of measles, that’s for sure … So this is a real opportunity if we cannot restore the planned vaccination campaign in this region,” Khan said.

According to her, in Europe there were no disruptions in the supply of vaccines, and European countries have enough supplies to resume the vaccination process.

“We all need to remember that if 95% immunization coverage is not achieved and supported in each population group, then we will not be able to prevent the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases … Measles will become the main problem in Europe because it is a risk that we have encountered in the past,” said Khan.

Previously, WHO and UNICEF reported that more than half (53%) of the 129 countries for which data were available reported moderate to severe disruptions or a complete suspension of vaccination services in March-April 2020. Such an erosion of global immunization on a global scale has been unprecedented since the creation of expanded immunization programs in the 1970s.

Many countries have temporarily and reasonably suspended preventive mass vaccination campaigns against diseases such as cholera, measles, meningitis, polio, tetanus, typhoid fever and yellow fever due to the risk of infection and the need to maintain physical distance in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In particular, measles campaigns were suspended in 27 countries, and polio campaigns in 38 countries. At least 24 million people in 21 low-income countries are at risk of being left without vaccines for poliomyelitis, measles, typhoid, yellow fever, cholera, rotavirus, HPV, meningitis A and rubella due to delayed campaigns and the introduction of new vaccines. -0-

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