Top 5 Takeaways

  1. Global Impact of Measles Vaccination: From 2000 to 2021, measles vaccination averted an estimated 56 million deaths globally. Despite this success, measles vaccination coverage has declined, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Decreasing Vaccine Coverage: In 2021, only 81% of children received their first dose of measles-containing vaccine (MCV1), the lowest since 2008, leaving 25 million children at risk of measles.
  3. Surveillance Challenges: Measles surveillance remains suboptimal. In 2021, only 35% of reporting countries met the sensitivity indicator for surveillance performance.
  4. Measles Incidence Fluctuations: Measles incidence declined significantly from 2000 to 2016 but saw a resurgence in 2019, followed by a decrease in 2020 and 2021, partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  5. Goals for Elimination: All six WHO regions are committed to measles elimination. However, no region has yet achieved and sustained this goal, indicating a need for increased efforts in vaccination and surveillance.

Original Article Author and Citation

Corresponding Author

Anna A. Minta,

Suggested Citation

Minta AA, Ferrari M, Antoni S, et al. Progress Toward Regional Measles Elimination — Worldwide, 2000–2021. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:1489–1495. DOI:


This article discusses the worldwide progress in measles elimination from 2000 to 2021. The report highlights the significant decrease in measles cases and deaths due to vaccination efforts, but also notes setbacks due to reduced vaccine coverage and surveillance challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The need for strengthened surveillance systems and achieving 95% coverage with two doses of MCV is emphasized to close immunity gaps and prevent outbreaks.


The report utilizes data from administrative coverage, country estimates, and vaccination coverage surveys to assess MCV1 and MCV2 coverage. Surveillance performance is gauged using WHO and UNICEF reports, along with data from the Global Measles and Rubella Laboratory Network.


The discussion revolves around the fluctuation in measles incidence and vaccine coverage, highlighting the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report underscores the importance of supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) to reach unvaccinated children and the need for robust surveillance to detect measles cases promptly.


To regain progress and achieve regional measles elimination targets, the report concludes that accelerated efforts are needed to reach all children with 2 MCV doses. Additionally, implementing robust surveillance, identifying, and closing immunity gaps are vital to prevent measles cases and outbreaks. The alignment with the Immunization Agenda 2030 and the Measles and Rubella Strategic Framework is crucial for these efforts.


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