UNICEF

baby receiving oral vaccine

23 million children missed out on basic childhood vaccines through routine health services in 2020, the highest number since 2009 and 3.7 million more than in 2019. WHO/UNICEF data shows that a majority of countries last year experienced drops in childhood vaccination rates. Up to 17 million children – likely did not receive a single vaccine during the year, widening already immense inequities in vaccine access. Most of these children live in communities affected by conflict, in under-served remote places, or in informal or slum settings where they face multiple deprivations including limited access to basic health and key social services.

No one is safe until everyone is safe. The recent surge of infections in India was a wake up call for the world, as less than 1% of vaccines have reached the developing world. This is why UNICEF is calling on wealthy countries to donate their excess COVID-19 vaccines now.

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown up all sorts of new challenges for parents. Sesame Street’s Grover and UNICEF USA Ambassador Lucy Liu share tips on taking care of yourself and your little ones. Get more tips at UNICEF’s Parenting Hub, which brings together some of the world’s leading baby experts to help you with top tips and fun facts.

A man carries a smiling baby that reaches out to a camera

Affordable, quality childcare is inaccessible in many of the world’s wealthiest countries, according to a new UNICEF report looking at childcare for children between birth and school age.

 

Parenting in a pandemic is a challenge like no other. Psychologist and child development expert Dr. Lisa Damour answers your questions on the best ways to take care of yourself and your child’s mental health during COVID-19. Get more tips at UNICEF's Parenting Hub.

Close-up of a girl smiling

Eight-year-old Gabezech is one of the many children displaced since chronic border disputes erupted in violence around the Konso zone in southwestern Ethiopia, in late 2020. Tens of thousands of children have been uprooted from their homes, many separated from their families, leaving them at greater risk of disease, struggling to find shelter, and more vulnerable to violence. But conditions at these sites are often dire. The camps are overcrowded and unsanitary. UNICEF is supplying families with water treatment tablets to prevent diarrhoea.

Parenting has never been an easy job – and the COVID-19 pandemic has made it even harder. UNICEF presents this special message from Olivia Colman to parents doing everything they can to support their families.

A girl carries a container of water on her shoulder.

The right to safe drinking water and sanitation is rooted in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, United Nations resolutions and the Geneva conventions. It is a right that is as critical to the survival of children as food, medical care, and protection from attack. But from Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh to Ukraine to Yemen, crises have become increasingly protracted and conflict threatens interconnected urban service systems. To improve children’s access to clean drinking water, and to save lives in conflicts and crises, UNICEF calls for three major changes.

women with face masks at food market having discussion

The development of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines is a huge step forward in our global effort to end the pandemic. This is exciting news, but there are still some people who are skeptical or hesitant about COVID-19 vaccines. Chances are you know a person who falls into this category – maybe among your group of friends or in your family. If you are unsure of how to approach conversations about vaccines with vaccine skeptics you know, you’re not alone. Dr. Saad Omer, Director at the Yale Institute for Global Health, talks about the do’s and dont's of navigating these difficult discussions.

Yasmin is pictured inside a vaccine manufacturing plant. She stands between 2 large COVID vaccine containers.

Yasmin Ali Haque has worked for UNICEF for almost 25 years and is now the UNICEF Representative in India. In this episode of Awake at Night, she describes the current situation: COVID is bringing communities together, but it is also bringing back negative coping mechanisms such as a returning rise in child marriage.

 

woman at vaccination centre

Tips on what you can do before, during and after you get the COVID-19 vaccine.

closeup of child with face mask

A deadly surge in COVID-19 cases is placing an enormous strain on health and critical care facilities in India. This second wave of the pandemic is larger and spreading more rapidly than the first, and is leaving vulnerable families paying a particularly steep price. UNICEF has already sent critical lifesaving supplies to help India in its battle with COVID-19 and has deployed senior-level experts to the worst hit areas to support state and local authorities. But more support is urgently needed to save lives. Donate now

a child receiving a vaccine

While immunization services have started to recover from disruptions caused by COVID-19, millions of children remain vulnerable to deadly diseases, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance warned  during World Immunization Week, highlighting the urgent need for a renewed global commitment to improve vaccination access and uptake. A WHO survey has found that, despite progress when compared to the situation in 2020, more than one third of respondent countries (37%) still report experiencing disruptions to their routine immunization services.

5 boys look out from behind a fence.

Delivering for children in Myanmar in a time of crisis

woman showing peace sign after getting vaccine

The COVID-19 pandemic is a devastating reminder of the chaos caused by diseases we cannot prevent. Thanks to vaccines, we now have a way of ending this pandemic and to rebuild our lives. This World Immunization Week, join UNICEF to show #VaccinesWork.