In a new report, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revealed that measles is now a renewed global health crisis as around 22 million kids have dodged their vaccinations during the COVID19 pandemic. Health experts have said that measles is one of the most deadly pathogens known in medical science that claims the lives of nearly 60000 people each year at present. Mostly young children are affected by the deadly disease, said the experts. As per the data, the disease has claimed the lives of around a million people in a year as recently as 2000. However, immunizations have been able to reverse the condition but any lapse in vaccination can threaten years of efforts put together by experts to protect people from this deadly disease. The data from the CDC has shown that following a worldwide resurgence from 2017 and 2019, incidents of the disease have fallen considerably in 2020. However, there have been large-scale and unruly outbreaks of the disease in the year 2020. The CDC team has said that it shows that measles transmission has not been reported correctly. Health experts from the agency have said that millions of kids have dodged their measles vaccination during the COVID19 pandemic. Around 22 million kids have evaded their first doses of measles shot in 2020, which is 3 million more than children who have dodged their vaccination appointments for measles in 2019.
The federal agency has said that it is the biggest boost in the number of kids who have missed their measles vaccination in the last 20 years. The head of the Department of Immunization, Vaccines, and Biologicals from the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Kate O’Brien has said that although reported cases of measles have reduced in 2020, there is a growing body of evidence that shows it is a situation like calm before storm as the threat of outbreaks of measles still looms across the world. She has said that it is crucial that nations across the globe should be focusing on immunizing their citizens as fast as possible against coronavirus. However, COVID19 vaccination needs new resources; therefore, it should not be done at the cost of vital immunizations initiatives. Health experts have said that routine vaccination should be taken care of and strengthened, or else we will be trading one deadly infection for another fatal illness. Experts from the CDC and WHO have been issuing warnings regarding the disrupted routine immunization programs due to the COVID19 pandemic. The global immunization chief from the CDC, Dr. Kevin Cain has claimed that resources to be used in measles detection and diagnosis and vaccination have been diverted to aid COVID19 responses in the last two years. It has shot up the odds of a higher number of deaths linked to measles and severe complications in children.
Dr. Kevin Cain has said that health officials should act promptly to strengthen measles surveillance systems and bridge the gap in the level of immunity. He has said that it should be done before travel and trades go back to pre-pandemic levels. The growth of measles surveillance systems and elevating the rate of measles vaccination will help avert deadly outbreaks of the disease in the future. Health experts from the CDC have said that as per the estimates, measles vaccination programs can avert nearly 31 million fatalities linked to the disease in a year. The associate chief for immunization at the UNICEF, Ephrem Tekle Lemango has said that small pockets of low measles vaccination coverage have been fuelling deadly outbreaks of the disease before the COVID19 pandemic. Lemango has said that nations that have been considered measles-free as well have reported outbreaks before the pandemic. Health experts have said that officials need to focus on closing the gaps in measles vaccination coverage as soon as possible, or else these gaps will turn into huge outbreaks. Measles is a curable infectious disease but it is also a deadly ailment. Experts have said that gaps in the rate of vaccination can put the lives of millions of children at stake.