Global Health Observatory (GHO)

Measles immunization coverage


Measles is a highly contagious, serious disease caused by a virus. It remains one of the leading causes of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine. An estimated 164 000 people died from measles in 2008 – mostly children under the age of five. Targeted vaccination campaigns have had a major impact on reducing measles deaths. From 2000 to 2008 nearly 700 million children aged 9 months to 14 years who live in high risk countries were vaccinated against the disease. Global measles deaths decreased by 78% during this period. In urban areas measles immunization coverage is higher for children from the richest 20% population with the inequalities being most pronounce in Asia.


Coverage of measles immunization has increased in urban areas all three regions – Africa, Americas and Asia – between 1990 and 2007, on average. The urban poorest 20% in all three regions have witnessed an improved in measles immunization coverage albeit a small one.


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