Keeping children safe with life-saving vaccines

Today, thousands of children will die from diseases that are easy to prevent

Deadly diseases like measles, polio, tetanus, tuberculosis, diphtheria and whooping cough are all easily and cheaply preventable by vaccination. Yet every day, 16,000 children under five die, usually because they don’t get the health care and life-saving vaccines they need.

Unicef provides vaccines to immunise almost half of the world’s children against preventable diseases, and with our partners support immunisation programmes in over 95 countries to keep children safe.

Since 1980, Unicef has helped quadruple immunisation rates for children worldwide, saving up to 3 million children’s lives a year.

Today more children are protected than ever before, but there is still more work to be done.

Life-saving vaccines for Sarata

One mum's journey to vaccinate her child in Sierra Leone

In Côte d'Ivoire, Sarata gets her vaccinations at a Unicef-supported clinic in her village.
Photo: Unicef/2017/Dejongh

She receives her polio vaccine from a community health worker.
Photo: Unicef/2017/Dejongh

She's now safe from some of the deadliest childhood diseases.
Photo: Unicef/2017/Dejongh

A donation today can help keep more children like Sarata safe

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In an emergency, we don’t forget vaccines

In the midst of a crisis – whether it’s the ongoing brutality of war or the immediate chaos of natural disaster – we deliver vaccination campaigns to help protect vulnerable children when health services are down. Last year, in humanitarian emergencies alone, your donations helped vaccinate 20 million children against measles.

Before the crisis in Syria, 90% of children got routine vaccines. But since the conflict started more than six years ago that number has fallen dramatically, to around 60%. Unicef has helped to vaccinated more than 3 million children across the region.

Louai, 4, is vaccinated in Syria as part of a nationwide vaccination campaign to protect children.
Photo: Unicef/Al-Issa

And we protect children from malaria

Malaria is one of the greatest dangers for children in sub-Saharan Africa, killing one child every minute. Malaria is spread via mosquitos, so children in malaria countries are in most danger when they’re asleep. Malaria symptoms include fever, headache and vomiting. If not treated, malaria can be deadly.

There’s currently no malaria vaccine, but Unicef is one of the world’s largest distributors of mosquito nets to protect children from mosquito bites.

In 2015 Unicef delivered 22.3 million mosquito nets to help keep millions of children and their families safe.

In Nepal, three-year-old Sophiya looks out from under a Unicef-provided mosquito net.
Photo: Unicef/Nepal/Pandey

A donation to Unicef can help keep a child safe from disease

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