Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

Immunization highlights: 2012

Global trends in immunization


Routine vaccination reached four in five children

In 2011, about 107 million infants worldwide were vaccinated with three doses of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP3) vaccine. These children are protected against a number of infectious diseases that can have serious consequences in terms of illness and disability or can be fatal.

More countries achieve high levels of vaccination coverage

162 countries reached 80% DTP3 vaccine coverage in 2011, compared to 158 in 2010.

However, the number of countries reaching over 90% DTP3 coverage remained at 130 in 2010 and 2011.

Access to new and underused vaccines is increasing

The number of countries using specific vaccines by the end of 2011 was:

  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccines: 177
  • Hepatitis B vaccines: 180
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines: 43
  • Pneumococcal vaccines: 72
  • Rotavirus vaccines: 31
  • Rubella vaccines: 130
  • Tetanus vaccines: over 100 countries (maternal and neonatal tetanus persist as public health problems in 36 countries, mainly in Africa and Asia)
  • Yellow fever vaccines: 36 countries and territories (out of the 48 at risk for yellow fever in Africa and the Americas)

While substantial progress has been made, an estimated 22.4 million children, mostly living in less-developed countries, missed out on the three basic vaccinations (DTP3) during their first year of life in 2011. More than 70% of these children live in ten countries:

  • Afghanistan
  • Chad
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Ethiopia
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • South Africa

Priority needs to be given to strengthening routine vaccination globally, especially in the countries that are home to the highest number of unvaccinated children.

"An accessible and well-functioning immunization programme should be a key component of public health services in every country. By supporting countries to strengthen their health systems through the implementation of the new Global Vaccine Action Plan, we can increase global access to vaccines and make an impact on the lives of millions of people."

Dr Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele, Director, WHO Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

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