Measles outbreaks can occur as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to official sources, as some vaccination programs need to be delayed.
According to Unicef, 117 million children in 37 countries may not be vaccinated in time.
There were several major outbreaks in countries across Europe where MMR vaccine intake was low.
Britain already has lost its measles-free status , as more and more cases of potentially fatal infections occur.
The disease, which causes cough, rashes and fever, can be prevented with two doses of the mumps, measles and rubella (MMR) vaccine, which is available free of charge to all young children in the UK.
Here, 95% of five-year-olds had the first stitch – the goal of the World Health Organization (WHO) – but only 87.4% had the second.
And since measles is highly contagious, even slight drops in intake can have an impact.
According to the WHO, countries without an active measles outbreak can temporarily interrupt their vaccination campaigns if necessary.
And 24 countries, including several that are already dealing with major measles outbreaks, have decided to delay because of the coronavirus pandemic: • Bangladesh • Brazil • Bolivia • Cambodia • Chad • Chile • Colombia • Djibouti • Dominican Republic • Democratic Republic of the Congo • Ethiopia • Honduras • Kazakhstan • Kyrgyzstan • Lebanon • Maldives • Mexico • Nepal • Nigeria • Paraguay • Somalia • South Sudan • Ukraine • Uzbekistan
But Unicef says there could be more interference.
“If the difficult decision to stop vaccination is due to the spread of the corona virus, we urge leaders to step up efforts to persecute unvaccinated children so that measles vaccines can be delivered to the most vulnerable, as soon as this is possible. “It said
Spokeswoman Joanna Rea added: “Disruption to routine vaccination services increases the risk of children developing fatal diseases, increases current pressure on national health services, and risks a second pandemic of infectious diseases.”
Britain continues to offer MMR to children as part of its routine vaccination schedule.
Dr. Mary Ramsay, head of vaccination at Public Health England, said: “The national vaccination program has been very successful in preventing serious and sometimes life-threatening diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis, whooping cough, diphtheria and measles.
“During this time, it is important to maintain the best possible vaccine intake to prevent these infections from recurring.”