Epidemiological Alert: Yellow Fever - 31 August 2022
In the Region of the Americas, the risk of new yellow fever outbreaks of varying magnitudes is high. Although health systems have begun to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, an alarming decrease has been observed in the proportion of the population vaccinated against yellow fever and, consequently, an increase in the gap in immunizations has accumulated over the last decade. The COVID-19 pandemic, among other factors, has led to vaccination activities that were previously routinely carried out becoming a challenge.
In the Region of the Americas, according to estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), between 2020 and 2021, vaccination coverage for yellow fever decreased in 6 of the 13 countries and territories with yellow fever endemic areas. In 2021, yellow fever vaccination coverage equal to or greater than 95% was not achieved in 12 of the 13 endemic countries/territories, and it was less than 80% and in 9 countries.
Due to the aforementioned, it is urgent that health authorities ensure they have a strategic reserve inventory that allows them to maintain routine vaccination and at the same time respond to eventual outbreaks. In addition, it is necessary that the countries that have scheduled preventive vaccination campaigns for increasing coverage resume their plans and guarantee vaccination coverage greater than or equal to 95% in a homogeneous manner.