The World Health Organization (WHO) warns of the risk of “absolute catastrophe” if the dangerous delay in vaccinating children due to the Covid-19 pandemic is not recovered and if health restrictions are lifted too quickly.
“In 2021 we have the potential for absolute catastrophe,” Dr. Kate O’Brien, director of the WHO immunization department in Geneva, warned today. The pandemic has in fact forced to divert resources and personnel towards the fight against Covid, and many health services have had to close or reduce the hours. People were also reluctant to move out of fear of contamination when containment measures did not prohibit them. Unprotected children and the too rapid lifting of health restrictions against Covid – which have even partially protected some childhood diseases – are already having their effects, with measles outbreaks in Pakistan for example, the WHO official said. These two factors combined are “the absolute catastrophe we are sounding the alarm against now, because we must act now to protect these children,” O’Brien stressed.
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