Global health experts report childhood vaccine use at all-time high, but gaps remain in access
Immunization rates are now at their highest ever globally and vaccine development worldwide is booming, according to a new assessment released today by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and the World Bank in Washington D.C.
The State of the world’s vaccines and immunization reports that more infants are being immunized today than ever before — with a record 106 million receiving three doses of DTP-containing vaccine in 2008, according to new data. At the same time, its authors are calling on donor nations to address a funding gap of US$ 1 billion minimum per year that leaves millions of children still at risk, particularly in the poorest nations and communities, where preventable diseases take their highest toll.
The report states that the first decade of this century has been the most productive in the history of vaccine development and outlines the impact of collaborative efforts between scientists and pharmaceutical companies in developing new life-saving vaccines for meningococcal meningitis, rotavirus diarrhoea, pneumococcal disease, and human papillomavirus (HPV). It also highlights the tripling of the global vaccine market over the last eight years to more than US$ 17 billion in revenue, with manufacturers in developing countries now meeting 86% of the global demand for traditional vaccines.