Mon Jul 17, 2017 06:11PM
A child receives a vaccination against meningitis at the community center in Al Neem camp for Internally Displaced People in El Daein, East Darfur, Sudan. (Via UNAMID)
A child receives a vaccination against meningitis at the community center in Al Neem camp for Internally Displaced People in El Daein, East Darfur, Sudan. (Via UNAMID)

The World Health Organization (WHO) says nearly one in 10 infants received no vaccination last year, warning that they have missed the first dose of inoculation against three fatal diseases.

The UN health agency made the revelation in a joint report with the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) on Monday, saying that 12.9 million infants did not receive any vaccination in 2016 and failed to take the first dose of a triple vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP).

The report also noted that an estimated 6.6 million infants who received their first dose of the DTP-containing vaccine did not complete the full immunization course last year.

WHO, which has tracked for nearly 40 years the percentage of infants given the triple vaccination, says the figure has stalled with no significant changes in any countries or regions over the past years.

"Since 2010, the percentage of children who received their full course of routine immunizations has stalled at 86 percent," said the organization in a statement.

"These children most likely have also not received any of the other basic health services … If we are to raise the bar on global immunization coverage, health services must reach the unreached."

The figure falls short of the global immunization coverage target of 90 percent.

Reports indicated that only 130 of WHO's 194 member states had hit the 90 percent target, with the worst coverage recorded in countries gripped by violence and conflict.

The health agency estimates that vaccinations prevent between two and three million deaths each year.