The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has issued an alert, urging countries of the Americas, including the Caribbean, to update their response plans to prevent the re-establishment of endemic transmission of measles.
This follows a reduction in childhood vaccination coverage, increasing the possibility for outbreaks of this disease.
According to PAHO’s Technical Advisory Group on vaccines, the region’s risk of outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases is at its highest point in the last 30 years.
PAHO estimates that in 2021 more than 1.7 million children in 28 countries and territories of the Americas did not receive an initial dose of measles vaccine by their first birthday.
It says regional coverage for the first dose of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR) that year was 85 percent.
Only six countries reached the recommended level of 95 percent or more needed to sustain the elimination of these diseases, and 10 countries reported coverage of less than 80 percent.
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Edited by Jesus Chan
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