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Immunization Efforts Save Millions of Lives Globally – World Health Organization (WHO)

A recent study published in The Lancet has revealed the tremendous impact of global immunization efforts over the last 50 years, saving an estimated 154 million lives, with the majority being infants. Led by the World Health Organization (WHO), the study emphasizes that immunization is the single greatest health intervention in ensuring healthy lives for children.

Measles vaccination was found to have the most significant impact, contributing to 60% of lives saved through immunization. Vaccination against 14 diseases has directly resulted in a 40% reduction in infant deaths globally and over 50% in the African Region. For each life saved through immunization, an average of 66 years of full health were gained.

Despite these strides, the study also highlights the importance of reaching the 67 million children who missed out on vaccines during the pandemic years. The Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), founded in 1974, has evolved to include recommendations for 13 diseases and specific recommendations for 17 diseases.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has played a crucial role in protecting a billion children, halving childhood mortality, and providing economic benefits through vaccine equity. In line with these efforts, the “Humanly Possible” campaign by WHO, UNICEF, Gavi, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation aims to advocate for vaccines and immunization programs to further progress in the next 50 years.

Looking ahead, new vaccine introductions for diseases like malaria, COVID-19, and meningitis are expected to save even more lives in the future. The study underscores the importance of continued investment in global immunization efforts to ensure the well-being of children worldwide.

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