Indonesia’s Catch-Up Immunization Campaign Tackles Major Decline in Childhood Immunization
JAKARTA, 15 July 2022 – The Government of Indonesia, with support from UNICEF and partners, is continuing to drive catch-up efforts across the country to address a significant backslide in childhood immunization caused by COVID-19.
New global data published today by WHO and UNICEF reveals the largest sustained decline in childhood vaccinations in approximately 30 years.
In 2021 alone, 25 million children missed out on one or more doses of the vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP3) – through routine immunization services. This is two million more than those who missed out in 2020 and six million more than in 2019.
The data shows that 18 million of the 25 million children did not receive a single dose of DTP during the year, the vast majority of whom live in India, Nigeria, Indonesia, Ethiopia and the Philippines. Vaccine coverage dropped in every region, with the East Asia and Pacific region recording the steepest reversal in DPT3 coverage, falling nine percentage points in just two years.
The decline was due to many factors including an increased number of children living in conflict and fragile settings where immunization access is often challenging, increased misinformation and COVID-19 related issues such as service and supply chain disruptions, resource diversion to response efforts, and containment measures that limited immunization service access and availability.
In Indonesia, there has been more than six million cases of COVID-19 and more than 156,500 deaths in Indonesia – one of the largest number of cases in South-East Asia.
The pandemic caused significant disruptions to primary health care in Indonesia. A recent UNICEF study (2021) found that three in four households with children reported challenges in accessing health care services, one in four perceived problems in seeking treatment for sick children, and one in ten could not access immunizations.
Coverage of complete basic immunization dropped from 84.2 per cent in 2020 to 79.6 per cent in 2021, leaving children across Indonesia at greater risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, measles, rubella and polio.
“The major decline in routine immunization in Indonesia has left millions of children in a precarious health situation,” said UNICEF Acting Representative Robert Gass. “This has made catch-up immunization urgent and essential, as we continue to recover from the impact of COVID-19. The Government of Indonesia is working tirelessly, with UNICEF’s support, to reach as many children as possible, including those who live in disadvantaged and remote areas.”
UNICEF and partners currently support a major Government-led catch-up campaign known as BIAN. During the campaign, one dose of measles-rubella immunization is given to target groups in line with recommendations set for each region. One or more types of other immunization, such as polio, can also be provided to complete the immunization status of children under five years.
The first phase of BIAN, which began in May 2022 and will run until end July, targets 27 million children in Sumatera, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara, Maluku and Papua. The second phase will take place in August 2022 in Java and Bali.
Globally, vaccines save more than five lives every minute – preventing up to three million deaths a year, making vaccines among one of the most significant advances in global health and development. Vaccinated children are not only healthier – they do better at school, resulting in economic benefits that affect entire communities.
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Notes for editors:
About the data
Based on country-reported data, the official WHO and UNICEF estimates of national immunization coverage (WUENIC) provide the world’s largest and most comprehensive data-set on immunization trends for vaccinations against 13 diseases given through regular health systems - normally at clinics, community centres, outreach services, or health worker visits. For 2021, data were provided from 177 countries.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF Indonesia and its work for children, visit www.unicef.or.id.
For more information, please contact:
Kinanti Pinta Karana, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Indonesia.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile: +62-815-880-5842
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.