The coronavirus pandemic has caused the biggest backslide in childhood vaccinations in about 30 years, the World Health Organization and Unicef said on Friday. “The percentage of children who received three doses of the vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP3) – a marker for immunization coverage within and across countries – fell 5 percentage points between 2019 and 2021 to 81%,” the two agencies said in a statement. That means some 25 million children has missed out on one or more doses of vital immunizations in 2021 alone, putting them at risk of contracting preventable diseases. The news comes as the daily average for new U.S. cases is ticking higher and stood at 132,928 on Thursday, according to a New York Times tracker, up 17% from two weeks ago. The daily average for hospitalizations rose to 39,589, up 19% in two weeks. The daily average for deaths is up 10% to 415. Globally, the confirmed case tally rose above 560.4 million on Friday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins, while the death toll is above 6.36 million with the U.S. leading the world with 89.3 million cases and 1,023,258 deaths.
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