During the pandemic, approximately 67 million children could not access one or more vaccines that could save them against potentially fatal diseases. According to a recent UNICEF report, the global population has lost faith in routine childhood vaccines that protect against deadly diseases such as measles and polio due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The report found that public perception of vaccines for children declined between 2019 and 2021 in 52 out of the 55 countries surveyed.
UNICEF expressed the data was a "worrying caution" of increasing vaccine hesitancy amid misinformation, reducing trust in governments, and political polarization.
Catherine Russell, UNICEF executive director, stated, "We cannot permit faith in routine immunizations to become another prey of the pandemic; otherwise, the next tide of deaths could include more children with measles, diphtheria, or other preventable diseases."
The report emphasized that vaccine confidence can easily deviate, and the results may indicate only a short-term trend.
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