COVID-19 impact on infant and adolescent vaccine supplies

Volume 374| Issue 6574| 17 Dec 2021


Policy Forum
COVID-19 impact on infant and adolescent vaccine supplies
BY Tania Cernuschi…Alejandro Cravioto
16 Dec 2021: 1438-1441
Vaccine production is quadrupling rapidly, creating supply chain challenges
Immunization prevents 4 to 5 million deaths annually, primarily among children, but each year 20 million infants do not receive a full course of the most essential basic vaccines. COVID-19 has underscored the importance of vaccines to public health, but immunization coverage dropped in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, leaving even more infants un- or underimmunized (1). The push to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines has raised concerns that supplies of other essential vaccines may be compromised, which could erode the gains achieved by immunization and delay access for underserved populations. Drawing on data assembled by the World Health Organization (WHO) and on the advice of technical experts (see supplementary materials), we describe how COVID-19 is affecting the global supply of key infant and adolescent vaccines (see the table). We assess the risks to those essential vaccines, identify mitigations, and explore how emerging innovations can help improve market health…