Impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on routine immunization services: Evidence of disruption and recovery from 170 countries and territories

(Credit: Diana Mrazikova)

A new study published in the Lancet Global Health finds that as countries continue pandemic response efforts, vulnerabilities are exposed in immunizations systems. The study, funded in part by USAID’s MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership, synthesized data representing 170 countries and territories, finding declines among vaccination doses administered and other indications of significant and widespread disruptions in immunization systems during 2020. 

Countries around the world experienced disruptions to routine vaccinations demand, supply, and workforce. A pulse survey revealed that nearly 70% of the countries experienced disruption in outreach services. 

The marked magnitude and global scale of immunization disruption evokes the dangers of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks in the future. Trends indicating partial resumption of services highlight the urgent need for ongoing assessment of recovery, catch-up vaccination strategy implementation for vulnerable populations, and ensuring vaccine coverage equity and health system resilience.