Global Health Summary of Conference on Immunization in Developing Countries
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIV
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While international initiatives have increased the percentage of children immunized against six serious diseases to a global average of 80 percent, many countries have immunization rates far below the global average. In addition, many have not expanded their immunization programs to include newer vaccines that the World Health Organization WHO now recommends for use in developing countries. These shortfalls have severe consequences-WHO estimates that at least 4 million deaths each year among children in developing countries can be linked to these childrens lack of access to vaccines. In response to your concern about these shortfalls, we recently issued a report entitled Global Health Factors Contributing to Low Vaccination Rates in Developing Countries GAONSIAD-00-4, Oct. 15, 1999. In that report, we identified a number of factors that limit access to vaccines for children in developing countries, including 1 shifting donor priorities, 2 inadequate infrastructure and insufficient information for decision- making and 3 the relatively high cost of newer vaccines.
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