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Record number of infants immunised but 24 million in poor nations not being reached, says report

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 21 October 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4331
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

    Global immunisation levels of infants are now at their highest ever, a record 106 million in 2008, averting an estimated 2.5 million child deaths a year. However, vaccines still do not reach millions of children in poor developing nations, says a report by the World Health Organization, Unicef, and the World Bank.

    “We must overcome the divide that separates rich from poor—between those who get life saving vaccines and those who don’t,” said Margaret Chan, WHO’s director general.

    An estimated 24 million children, or almost 20% of children born every year, “do not get the complete immunisations scheduled for the first year of life,” concludes the report.

    But it estimates that an additional $1bn (£600m; €700m) a year will be needed to ensure new and existing vaccines will be delivered …

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