Vaccination rates are declining in Mexico

Mexico is neglecting children amid the battle against COVID-19

Vaccination rates are declining in Mexico
Stopping vaccination campaigns while poverty increase is not a good combination - Photo: Natali Mis
English 16/07/2020 09:01 Mexico ity Editorial Actualizada 09:08

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The COVID-19 pandemic and its effects could deteriorate the health of children all over the world. Now that governments are centering their efforts to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus, health authorities might neglect vaccination campaigns. 

Mexican authorities will have to consider the additional impact of immunological diseases that are preventable because vaccines against them do exist, in contrast with COVID-19, but for some reason, healthcare authorities have decreased the distribution of these vaccines among Mexican children. 

A report released by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that in the case of Mexico, there has been a decrease in vaccination. Out of 8 vaccines, they all show an important decrease in its application rate and some cases up to 50% fewer applications than in previous years. The current situation contrasts with the successful campaigns launched a decade ago, when vaccination reached up to 99% of Mexican children. 

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While there is a 20% decrease in vaccination against measles or tuberculosis in contrast with previous years, the most visible and worrying decrease in vaccination rates is hepatitis B because vaccination rates decreased to 55% when it had reached 99% vaccination rates six years ago. Although the vaccination rate registered a slight increase in 2019, it only reached 56%.

Henrietta Holsman Fore, the UNICEF director, warned that one crisis must not be exchanged for another under the excuse that all the efforts are focused on fighting COVID-19.

Amid this scenario, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean estimates Mexico will face lower economic growth rates and that 10 million more will become poor in the country. 

Stopping vaccination campaigns while poverty increases is not a good combination. The prevention of diseases is now disregarded. Although there is an economic crisis and it is now time for austerity, there are issues that cannot wait, especially vaccinating children. Future generations will thank the healthcare authorities.

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