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HomeMorbidity & Mortality Weekly Reportindex/list_12208_1Progress Toward Regional Measles Elimination — Worldwide, 2000–2020

Progress Toward Regional Measles Elimination — Worldwide, 2000–2020

Abstract and Introduction


In 2012, the World Health Assembly endorsed the Global Vaccine Action Plan,* with the objective of eliminating measles in five of the six World Health Organization (WHO) regions by 2020.[1] The Immunization Agenda 2021–2030 (IA2030)§ uses measles incidence as an indicator of the strength of immunization systems. The Measles-Rubella Strategic Framework 2021–2030 and the Measles Outbreaks Strategic Response Plan 2021–2023** are aligned with the IA2030 and highlight robust measles surveillance systems to document immunity gaps, identify root causes of undervaccination, and develop locally tailored solutions to ensure administration of 2 doses of measles-containing vaccine (MCV) to all children. This report describes progress toward World Health Assembly milestones and measles elimination objectives during 2000–2020 and updates a previous report.[2] During 2000–2010, estimated MCV first dose (MCV1) coverage increased globally from 72% to 84%, peaked at 86% in 2019, but declined to 84% in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. All countries conducted measles surveillance, although fewer than one third achieved the sensitivity indicator target of ≥2 discarded†† cases per 100,000 population in 2020. Annual reported measles incidence decreased 88% during 2000–2016, from 145 to 18 cases per 1 million population, rebounded to 120 in 2019, before falling to 22 in 2020. During 2000–2020, the annual number of estimated measles deaths decreased 94%, from 1,072,800 to 60,700, averting an estimated 31.7 million measles deaths. To achieve regional measles elimination targets, enhanced efforts are needed to reach all children with 2 MCV doses, implement robust surveillance, and identify and close immunity gaps.



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