Failure to vaccinate children against measles has led to a 556% surge in the number of reported cases and a 50% increase in deaths from the disease since 2016, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Although global measles vaccination efforts have saved an estimated 25.5 million lives since 2000, a joint report from the WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that the worldwide proportion of individuals protected by at least 1 shot of the 2-shot measles vaccine increased from 72% in 2000 to 84% in 2010 but it has since plateaued at about 85%.

The decline in annual measles incidence from 145 cases per million population in 2000 to 18 cases per million in 2016 was the closest the world has ever come to reaching the World Health Assembly’s goal of fewer than 5 cases per million. But since then, measles incidence increased to 120 per million in 2019 when deaths exceeded 200 000 and case numbers topped 800 000—the most since 1996, according to the WHO.

Read more at JAMA…