In just five years, the complete vaccination schedule for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis in Latin America and the Caribbean has dropped from 90 percent in 2015 to 76 percent in 2020, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). ) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
This means these entities add “that one in four boys and girls in the region has not received the complete routine vaccination scheme that would protect him from multiple diseases.”
The decrease in vaccination coverage had already begun before the appearance of Covid-19, they explain, “but the suspension or irregular programming of many basic health services during the pandemic and people’s fear of catching the coronavirus during visits to health centers is leaving many children without vaccines.”
“The decline in vaccination rates in the region is alarming and leaves millions of children and adolescents exposed to serious illness, or even death, when it could be prevented,” said Jean Gough, UNICEF regional director for Latin America and Caribbean.
This solution is proposed: strengthen vaccination programs,” he emphasized. The drop in coverage by 14 percentage points affects almost 2.5 million infants who have not received the full DTP vaccination schedule.
As happened in other countries in the region, in the Dominican Republic, there was a decrease in vaccination coverage in the past year 2021 compared to the figures for 2019.