2017 WHO Immunization Progress Report

This marks the second year Stamen has worked with the World Health Organization’s Department of Immunization to visualize the progress of global immunization. WHO originally called on Stamen in 2016 to provide an improved visual approach to their storytelling and we were thrilled when they asked us to work with them again in 2017. 

1 in ten children remain unreached by immunization programs

The recently released vaccination coverage estimates suggest that about 1 in 10 infants worldwide do not have access to vaccination, not having received even the first DTP-containing vaccine dose (DTP1). Most of the children that remain un-immunized are the same ones missed by health systems. 

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2016 DTP1 Coverage and Number of Unreached Children by Country

To reach GVAP objectives, nearly 10 million additional infants would need to have been vaccinated in 2016 

If all countries are to reach at least 90% DTP3 vaccination coverage, 9.9 million additional children would need to be vaccinated in 64 countries. 

Three in four of these children live in fragile countries, including countries that are affected by conflict; 4 out of 10 live in the three countries that have yet to interrupt polio transmission, namely Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan 

Slow progress in fragile countries

Countries with fragile health systems have showed slow progress since 2000, or have experienced large drops in coverage as a result of conflict. 

Out of the 11 countries that were prioritized by the WHO emergency programme, only the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia have made significant progress since the decade of vaccine started. 

Countries with very low immunization coverage

Eight countries had estimated DTP3 coverage of less than 50% in 2016: Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic and Ukraine. 

Children in these countries, already subject to multiple depravations remain at risk of outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases and threat to their lives. 

Subnational data collected at the global level 

For the first time, WHO and UNICEF received subnational disaggregated coverage data at the global level. Out of 194 member states, 125 countries reported subnational coverage, 36 at the 1st subnational level and 89 at the 2nd subnational administrative level (often corresponding to districts). The 20,000 districts for which data were received are home to 88 million children, two-thirds of the surviving infants worldwide. 

An initial analysis shows large differences in the size of these districts, and the coverage they report. A large proportion report coverage over 100%, revealing the challenges to accurately measure coverage at subnational level. 

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