#DangerouslyExposed: the children most vulnerable to vaccine-preventable death

Where are the largest populations of children most at risk of death from vaccine-preventable infections?

There are 25 countries remaining in the world where more than 40,000 children under five die each year. 18 are in sub-Saharan Africa and seven are in Asia.

The children in these countries represent the largest populations at greatest risk of death from disease, especially infectious diseases, like pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, measles, and tetanus.

The good news is that for most of these infections there are vaccines. To prevent severe strains of pneumonia in children we have the Hib and pneumococcal (PCV) vaccines and to prevent diarrhea we have the rotavirus vaccine. The highly effective measles and tetanus vaccines have prevented the deaths of millions of children.

The bad news is that coverage of these five vaccines in the countries where more than 40,000 children die is not adequate. The following charts show the current coverage rates of the Hib, pneumococcal (PCV), measles, and tetanus vaccines in each of the 25 countries, together with child deaths.

The colored portions of the circles show the percentage of unvaccinated and “exposed” children, while the size of the circles relates to the number of child deaths. The countries with the largest circles with the most color have the most at risk children. In these countries, increasing vaccine coverage should be a top health priority.

All child mortality data is from the Global Burden of Disease 2017 and all vaccine coverage data is from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF.

The countries are organized in alphabetical order.