Country-by-country data reveal inadequate progress on protecting women and children from vaccine-preventable diseases despite the availability of the low-cost drugs, reports a study released by UNICEF, New York.
Each year since 1990, immunization with routine vaccines has reached more than 70% of children worldwide. At the UN General Assembly Special Session in 2002, the international community adopted the specific target of immunizing by 2010 at least 90% of children under one year of age in each country.
The Progress for Children report shows that 103 countries already are protecting 90% of their children against vaccine-preventable diseases and another 16 are making steady progress. However, 74 nations have not kept up. Globally, 130,000,000 children are born each year adding to the ranks of children who require immunization.
"Immunization is currently preventing an estimated 2,000,000 deaths among children under five every year," states UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman, former Secretary of Agriculture. "Immunization is one of the safest and most cost-effective interventions we know. We need to...