Lack of vaccination is one of the top ten threats to world health, according to the World Health Organization. The consequences can already be observed today.
Vaccine fatigue threatens to undermine progress in combating preventable diseases. This is explained by the World Health Organization in a new report. Improving vaccination readiness is therefore one of the priority goals for the coming years, according to the WHO.
Vaccinations are one of the cheapest ways to prevent disease, according to the report published in Geneva. They prevented two to three million deaths each year. Another 1.5 million could be added if more people were vaccinated worldwide.
Negligence and lack of trust
However, the fewer people who have been vaccinated, the easier it is to spread diseases that could actually be eradicated. The reasons for vaccine fatigue are manifold. These included simple negligence, difficult access to vaccines or lack of trust.
The consequences of this can be seen in the example of measles: worldwide, the number of cases increased by 30 percent in 2017 compared to the previous year. In some countries, which were already close to eradicating the disease, there are more cases. The number of cases of measles has recently risen in the WHO region of Europe as well. Almost 24,000 people fell ill in the whole of 2017 – in 2016 there were only 5273, ie less than a quarter. In Germany there were around 1000 measles cases in 2017. One person died, around 40 percent of the patients had to be hospitalized. Actually, the measles in the Federal Republic should be completely eradicated by 2020.
The UN organization also classifies Ebola, antibiotic resistance, obesity, influenza epidemics, inadequate healthcare systems or chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease as the biggest health risks. The latter are responsible for 70 percent of all deaths or 41 million deaths per year worldwide.
Nine out of every ten people around the world inhale polluted air day after day, according to WHO. Seven million people around the world are dying prematurely, such as cancer or heart and lung diseases.