Over a third of Pak children miss out on vaccines

Islamabad, September 22 (IANS): In Pakistan, more than a third of children miss out on vaccines, a government report, said adding that only 66 per cent of children aged between 12 and 23 months received all basic vaccinations in 2017-18 and just 51 per cent got age-appropriate vaccinations.

The Demographic and Health Survey 2017-18 said that basic vaccination coverage differed slightly by a residence as urban children were more likely to receive all basic vaccinations than rural children, The Express Tribune reported on Sunday.

Compared to 71 per cent coverage in urban areas, only 63 per cent of children in rural areas received basic vaccination. A similar pattern was observed for all age-appropriate vaccinations with 56 per cent coverage in urban areas and 49 per cent in rural areas.

In Sindh, overall vaccination coverage was a shockingly low at just 45 per cent in 2017.

Officials of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI), however, insisted that they have been able to improve coverage to about 80 per cent.

“As much as 99 per cent of all deaths that occur due to pneumonia take place in developing countries,” noted Paediatrician Department head Professor Jamal Raza. “

Pakistan, along with Bangladesh, India, and Indonesia, is among the countries where pneumonia-related deaths are high,” he said, adding that over 590,000 cases of pneumonia turn fatal across the world every year.


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