Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the distribution of routine immunizations globally. Multi-country studies assessing a wide spectrum of vaccines and their coverage rates are needed to determine global performance in achieving vaccination goals. Methods: Global vaccine coverage data for 16 antigens were obtained from WHO/UNICEF Estimates of National Immunization Coverage. Tobit regression was performed for all country-antigen pairs for which data were continuously available between 2015-2020 or 2015-2021 to predict vaccine coverage in 2020/2021. Vaccines for which multi-dose data were available were assessed to determine whether vaccine coverage for subsequent doses were lower than that of first doses. Results: Vaccine coverage was significantly lower-than-predicted for 13/16 antigens in 2020 and all assessed antigens in 2021. Lower-than-predicted vaccine coverage was typically observed in South America, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia. There was a statistically significant coverage drop for subsequent doses of the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, pneumococcus, and rotavirus vaccines compared to first doses in 2020 and 2021. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic exerted larger disruptions to routine vaccination services in 2021 than in 2020. Global efforts will be needed to recoup vaccine coverage losses sustained during the pandemic and broaden vaccine access in areas where coverage was previously inadequate.

Fuente: Vaccine
Available online 22 May 2023