More than 117 million children across the world risk contracting measles as an effect of Coronavirus, the United Nations has warned.
Following the outbreak of the pandemic, countries are putting their vaccination programme for measles and other diseases on hold to face the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the AFP.
Currently, 24 countries, including several already dealing with large measles outbreaks, have suspended widespread vaccinations, the World Health Organisation and UNICEF said.
An additional 13 countries have had their vaccination programmes interrupted due to COVID-19.
In a joint statement, the Measles and Rubella Initiative said it was vital that immunisation capacity was retained during and after the current pandemic.
The statement reads, “Together, more than 117 million children could be impacted by the suspension of scheduled immunisation activities.
“The M&RI supports the need to protect communities and health workers from COVID-19 through a pause of mass campaigns where risks of the disease are high.
“However, this should not mean that children permanently miss out.”
Measles affects around 20 million people every year, the majority of whom are aged under five.