Childhood immunization rates began to recover last year in the world’s poorest countries after being badly hit by COVID-19 disruptions, according to the global vaccine alliance Gavi.
Last year, 80% of children got their diptheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine, known as DTP3, according to early data from Gavi. That compares to 78% in 2020 and 77% in 2021. Before the pandemic hit, coverage rates had reached 82%.
Global health groups have called the pandemic’s impact on routine immunization for children “the largest backslide in a generation”.
The DTP vaccine is used as a marker for routine immunization coverage more broadly, including shots that protect against other killer diseases such as measles.
Gavi released the data on Tuesday as part of a strategic meeting in Madrid assessing its recent progress, at which it also said it had reached more than 1 billion children with vaccinations since its establishment in 2000.