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AdvocacyNovember 13, 2015

New Measles Data: What You Need to Know

On November 12, 2015, the World Health Organization released new figures in the global fight against measles. We have outlined the top takeaways below and you can read the full press release here.

Top things you need to know about the current state of global measles efforts:

  1. Since 2000, the number of measles-related deaths has decreased by 79%, attributing an estimated 17.1 million lives saved to the vaccine.
  2. 2015 measles elimination goals are off track — coverage of the first does has increased globally from 70-85% between 2000 and 2010, however, the past four years have remained stagnant. Based on the current situation, experts estimate that 2015 global milestones and elimination goals will not be achieved on time.
  3. All countries include at least one dose of measles-containing vaccine in their routine immunization schedule.
  4. Measles outbreaks continue to pose serious challenges to regional elimination efforts. For example, increased numbers of cases in 2014 were largely due to big outbreaks in China, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Earlier this year, Shot@Life Champions travelled to the Philippines to see the effect of the measles vaccine first-hand. As mentioned, the Philippines experienced a devastating measles outbreak following typhoon Haiyan in 2013. Continued, vigilant efforts are needed to ensure that the situation in places like the Philippines are changed for the better and globally we progress to meet elimination goals.

Devi R. Thomas