20 million children miss out on life-saving vaccines, U.N. warns

LONDON (Reuters) – More than one in 10 children – or 20 million worldwide – missed out last year on vaccines against life-threatening diseases such as measles, diphtheria and tetanus, the World Health Organization and the UNICEF children’s fund said on Monday.

In a report on global immunization coverage, the U.N. agencies found that vaccination levels are stagnating, notably in poor countries or areas of conflict.

“Vaccines are one of our most important tools for preventing outbreaks and keeping the world safe,” the WHO’s director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said in a statement.

“It’s often those who are most at risk – the poorest, the most marginalized, those touched by conflict or forced from their homes – who are persistently missed,” he said. “Far too many are left behind.”

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