WHO fearful supplies of vaccines against childhood diseases could run short by late 2021

Rising pressures on pharmaceutical industry could lead to a drop in production of non-Covid vaccines by the end of the year, placing hundreds of thousands of lives at risk, writes Samuel Lovett

<p>Nurses wearing protective gear administer a vaccine against measles to a child at a health centre in Palu, Indonesia</p>

Nurses wearing protective gear administer a vaccine against measles to a child at a health centre in Palu, Indonesia

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is fearful that supplies of lifesaving vaccines against a number of childhood infectious diseases, including measles, diphtheria and polio, could run short by the end of 2021 due to Covid-19 disruptions.

With global manufacturing capacities currently focused on the production of billions of coronavirus vaccine doses, the WHO is liaising with industry leaders, governments and health campaigners to ascertain how this will impact the rollout of other jabs in the months to come.

Hundreds of thousands of worldwide deaths are prevented every year thanks to a variety of vaccines that protect against measles, mumps, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough), which are administered to children in early infancy.

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