With the COVID-19 pandemic, we should have learned that more than ever, all vaccines play a crucial role in public health and that, vaccines are an incredibly successful and cost-effective public health tool. Continued lockdowns and social-distancing measures have had a detrimental impact on the uptake of routine vaccination* across the world, and in Europe as well. In Europe, between 3 to 8% of people postponed or cancelled their vaccination appointment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In France, we observe that 57% of postponements and cancellations of routine immunisation affected children, and 39% affected adults. And if we just look at one vaccine, MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) for instance, vaccines delivered in England dropped by 20% during the first three weeks of the lockdown.
If the uptake of routine vaccinations continues to fall, we could experience new outbreaks of measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases undoing decades of progress. While the world is enrolling one of the biggest vaccination campaigns in the history to fight against COVID-19, with governments, healthcare professionals, manufacturers working together to ensure that all populations can assess Covid-19 vaccines as soon as possible, we cannot drop our guard to ensure that children, adolescents, adults and older adults remain protected against all the other vaccine-preventable diseases and that sufficient resources and consideration are given to delivery and uptake of routine vaccinations.