At Médecins Sans Frontières, we are unfortunately witnessing and responding to an increasing number of large-scale, vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks, like measles and diphtheria, in many of the places we work in.
If promoting equity to benefit the most excluded communities is truly a priority for the Immunization Agenda 2030, then efforts to reach the millions of children living in humanitarian contexts, who make up a disproportionately high number of zero-dose and under-immunised children, must be intensified. More innovative strategies and new partnerships are needed to reach these as-yet-unreached and vulnerable children. Financial support for vaccines must also be aligned with WHO’s recommendations to ensure that all children (up to at least the age of five) are caught up on their missed immunisations.
Vaccines must be available, affordable and accessible for all, and high prices of newer vaccines must urgently be addressed. Political and financial commitments from governments and donors for childhood immunisation must be sustained and bolstered, with equity being the guiding principle.