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Although reported measles cases decreased by more than 80% last year, 22 million infants missed their first dose of vaccine for the disease, up from 19 million in 2019, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and Inspired by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). ) to issue joint statement Warning of potential outbreak.

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According to the statement, the global missed measles vaccination from 19 million to 22 million in infants is the biggest increase in two decades.

Organizations cite precautions taken during the COVID-19 pandemic—masking, hand washing, social distancing—as a possible reason for the large drop in measles cases in 2020.

Measles surveillance also plummeted as resources for disease detection and diagnosis were diverted to combat the pandemic, as samples sent for measles laboratory testing reached the lowest number in a decade.

Measles vaccination services were disrupted due to the pandemic.

Only 70% of children received a second dose of measles vaccine in 2020, which is less than the ideal 95% needed to stop an outbreak.

CDC’s Global Immunization Director Dr. Kevin Cain warned of the potential for an increase in “measles-related deaths and serious complications in children” and called for increased disease surveillance systems and a narrowing of the measles-related immunity gap.

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