During 2020, over 22 million children missed their first dose of measles vaccine- 3 million more than in 2019, marking the largest increase in two decades and creating dangerous conditions for outbreaks to occur.
Compared with the previous year, reported measles cases dropped by over 80% in 2020, according to WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
However, measles surveillance also deteriorated with the lowest number of specimens sent for lab testing in over a decade. Weak measles monitoring, testing and reporting for measles jeopardize countries’ ability to prevent outbreaks of this highly infectious disease.
“We must act now to strengthen disease surveillance systems and close immunity gaps, before travel and trade return to pre-pandemic levels, to prevent deadly measles outbreaks and mitigate the risk of other vaccine-preventable diseases,¨ said Dr. Kevin Cain, MD, CDC´s Global Immunization Director.