A new report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 20.3 million deaths have been prevented by the measles vaccine between 2000 and 2015.
It's an incredible achievement for public health. In fact, thanks to vaccines, many of us have forgotten how deadly measles can be. India witnessed about 51 percent mortality reduction from measles between 2000 and 2015 but the country is still among the six nations accounting for half of infants who did not get vaccinated last year, according to a new report by leading health organisations.
‘Measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children globally.’
In 2015, about 20 million infants missed their measles shots and an estimated 134,000 children died from the disease. India, Congo, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Nigeria and Pakistan account for half of the unvaccinated infants and 75 percent of the measles deaths, it said.
But not everyone is so lucky - despite all the progress in the developed world, the report also revealed that almost 400 children still die from measles every single day around the world. And the WHO says global immunisation progress has slowed since 2010.
To figure out the number of lives saved, the study compared the number of people who died of the disease before the WHO started its global push for vaccination in 2000, to now. Between 2000 and 2015, it calculated that there was a 75 percent decline in reported measles incidents, and a 79 percent drop in measles deaths. That means that roughly 20.3 million lives were saved thanks to the vaccine.