The World Health Organisation (WHO) is leading a global effort to focus on children who missed their scheduled vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw ssential immunisation levels decrease in over 100 countries, leading to outbreaks of measles, diphtheria, polio and yellow fever.
A recent report by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund Vaccine Confidence Project shows:
- Childhood vaccinations in Australia slipped from 93.8 per cent pre-pandemic to 86.3 per cent post-pandemic.
- The pandemic caused the largest sustained drop globally in childhood immunisation in 30 years.
- Almost 50 million children worldwide did not receive a single routine vaccination between 2019 to 2021, and at least 67 million have missed one or more.
In Australia, as of December 2022, the vaccination rates were:
- 93.75 per cent for one-year-olds
- 91.98 per cent for 2-year-olds
- 94.27 per cent for 5-year-olds
The target is 95 per cent for each age group.
In the North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network region, vaccination rates for 5-year-olds dropped from 95.09 per cent in 2019 to 94.62 per cent in 2022.
How to improve childhood vaccination rates in your practice
Use our new step-by-step quality improvement activity for guidance on how to use the Australian Immunisation Register to find under- or unvaccinated children among your patients. Doing so not only helps protect kids, it also earns RACGP ‘Measuring Outcomes’ CPD hours.
For more information on paediatric vaccinations, visit HealthPathways childhood immunisation.