Vaccinate a child

Every day around 14,000 children die needlessly from easily preventable causes. Donate now to provide urgent lifesaving vaccines.


About this appeal

Each year around 5 million children under 5 years die from largely preventable causes such as measles, pneumonia and polio+.

This is tragic, when you consider the cost of a lifesaving vaccine starts at just a few cents and it can protect children and stop them dying.

Donate today to protect children from disease.

The impact of Covid-19 is being keenly felt in global vaccination rates. In 2020, 23 million children missed out on basic vaccines services, up 3.7 million on 2019. The majority of countries experienced a drop-off due to the disruption caused by Covid-19^.

“Even as countries clamour to get their hands on COVID-19 vaccines, we have gone backwards on other vaccinations, leaving children at risk from devastating but preventable diseases like measles, polio or meningitis,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

Syria | ©Unicef/UN060913
Syria | ©Unicef/UN060913

A UNICEF health worker vaccinates 5-year-old Yousef and his 3-year-old brother Samir in Aleppo city. Immunisation is crucial for children living in war zones, as outbreaks of diseases can quickly escalate into lethal epidemics.

Sadly, it continues to be the children who need vaccines the most that are least likely to receive them. Children affected by war and disaster, or living in remote and hard-to-reach areas, or children born in developing countries, continue to miss out. It’s urgent that we reach these children with life-saving vaccine protection.

Just $25 can provide 50 doses of measles vaccine to protect children against this deadly disease*. 

Appeal information updated 28th July 2021.

Your life-saving monthly donations will support this appeal for 6 months. After that they will go into our Global Parent fund to save and protect children worldwide.





How will you help

Vaccines are a simple, low-cost and effective way of safeguarding a child’s health.

Quite simply, vaccines are one of the greatest advances of modern medicine - they have slashed child mortality rates in half, and each year vaccines save between 2 to 3 million young lives*

By donating today, you’ll be helping protect children from deadly and often debilitating diseases, such as measles, pneumonia, tetanus and polio.

Samoa | ©UNICEF/UNI232405
Samoa | ©UNICEF/UNI232405

Nine-year-old Senerita receives a measles vaccination in Leauvaa Village, as part of a UNICEF-supported National Vaccination Campaign.

UNICEF vaccinates almost half of the world's children every year+.

So when you donate, you will be protecting children's health around the world - from right here in the Pacific, to the Congo, Yemen, Syria and more.

Every donation you make will help save lives and setup children for a brighter, healthier future.


Update (3)

Appeal updates

COVID-19 pandemic leads to major backsliding on childhood vaccinations

Published on Wed Jul 28 2021

Children are missing out on vaccines at a rate not seen in 10 years. And Covid-19 is to blame.

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.

This is according to official data published by WHO and UNICEF on 14th July. The figures reflect global service disruptions due to COVID-19, and show that the majority of countries experienced drops in childhood vaccination rates last year.

“Even as countries clamour to get their hands on COVID-19 vaccines, we have gone backwards on other vaccinations, leaving children at risk from devastating but preventable diseases like measles, polio or meningitis,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

“Multiple disease outbreaks would be catastrophic for communities and health systems already battling COVID-19, making it more urgent than ever to invest in childhood vaccination and ensure every child is reached.”

UNI325806 0

As access to health services and immunization outreach were curtailed in 2020, the number of children not receiving even their very first vaccinations increased in all regions.

As compared with 2019, 3.5 million more children missed their first dose of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine (DTP-1) while 3 million more children missed their first measles dose.

“This evidence should be a clear warning – the COVID-19 pandemic and related disruptions cost us valuable ground we cannot afford to lose – and the consequences will be paid in the lives and wellbeing of the most vulnerable,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director.

“Even before the pandemic, there were worrying signs that we were beginning to lose ground in the fight to immunize children against preventable child illness, including with the widespread measles outbreaks two years ago. The pandemic has made a bad situation worse. With the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines at the forefront of everyone’s minds, we must remember that vaccine distribution has always been inequitable, but it does not have to be.”

© UNICEF/UN0450958/Margaryan

As countries around the world work to recover lost ground due to COVID-19 related disruptions, UNICEF, WHO and partners like Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance are supporting efforts to strengthen immunization systems by:

  • Restoring services and vaccination campaigns so countries can safely deliver routine immunization programmes during the COVID-19 pandemic;

  • Helping health workers and community leaders communicate actively with caregivers to explain the importance of vaccinations;

  • Rectifying gaps in immunization coverage, including identifying communities and people who have been missed during the pandemic.

  • Ensuring that COVID-19 vaccine delivery is independently planned for and financed and that it occurs alongside, and not at the cost of childhood vaccination services.

  • Implementing country plans to prevent and respond to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, and strengthen immunization systems as part of COVID-19 recovery efforts

UNICEF is working with countries and partners to help deliver the ambitious targets of the global Immunization Agenda 2030, which aims to achieve 90% coverage for essential childhood vaccines; halve the number of entirely unvaccinated, or ‘zero dose’ children, and increase the uptake of newer lifesaving vaccines such as rotavirus or pneumococcus in low and middle-income countries.

UNICEF will not stop until every child is vaccinated.

Proud Vaccinator Youssouf Diarra has been protecting children in Mali for more than two decades.

Published on Thu May 27 2021

In rural Mali, UNICEF Community Vaccinator, Youssouf Diarra, whizzes round on his motorbike visiting families and vaccinating their children. He’s been protecting his community from diseases like measles for over 20 years.

"l found my first year on the job very difficult because the villagers were afraid of side effects and didn't trust vaccines.” Says Youssouf.

“Today, twenty years later, I can tell you that not only have things changed, but it is the parents themselves who come to me to asking for the vaccination schedule, just to make sure that their children do not miss their vaccination."

On his rounds, he stops by to see the family of 4-year old Aminata Fota.

Despite being vaccinated before she turned 1, little Aminata still contracted measles. She lost her appetite, her temperature started to rise and she develop spots on her face. Youssouf recognised the signs immediately and sent Aminata to the Community Health Centre to get treatment.

Luckily for Aminata, she recovered quickly after getting ill, and was ready for her second dose of measles vaccine.

“The second dose of VAR which was added to routine EPI (expanded Programme Immunisation) is really necessary. It gives the child a second chance to be protected against measles” says Youssouf.

"If these vaccines didn't exist, we would have had to invent them. They protect our children from disease, what’s more, they are free. Our parents were not so lucky, so let's take advantage and vaccinate our children" Says Oumar, Aminata's father.

The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed the distribution of vaccines against deadly and highly contagious diseases such as measles and polio. Nonetheless, Mali UNICEF is supporting the Government which is also working hard to ensure that essential services such as immunization continue to be available.

In Mali, the immunization coverage rates increased from 39% in 2013 to 87% in 2020 among children aged 12 to 23 months.

This was as a result of new and innovative approaches such as:

• The creation of digital registers for vaccinated children, • The use of ambulant immunization teams to get to populations living in hard-to-reach areas, • The use of solar fridges to keep vaccines at an optimal temperature, • The setting up of vaccination sessions in places with large gatherings of people (markets, schools, mosques, and main bus stations) as well as, • The use of mobile phones to remind parents of their children's vaccination schedules.

"It is an honour for me to vaccinate the children of my community. I feel more pride when I see how far we have come over these last decades, getting vaccines accepted in our communities." says Youssouf.

Donate now to keep children, like Aminata, safe against measles and other deadly childhood diseases. __You can help protect children and save lives today. __

Measles explained: why this disease is so deadly for children

Published on Tue Jun 01 2021

What is measles?

Measles is a highly contagious viral infection of the nose, throat and lungs that spreads when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes. It is a leading cause of vaccine-preventable deaths amongst children.

What are the symptoms of measles?

Measles symptoms usually appear 10–12 days after infection. The virus causes fever and a distinctive rash that starts on the face and spreads over the whole body. Severe cases can lead to blindness, encephalitis (brain swelling) and death.

Unvaccinated young children are at highest risk of getting measles and suffering complications, including death.

How contagious is measles?

Measles is more contagious than Ebola, and lingers in the air and on surfaces for long periods of time. You can catch measles simply by being in the same room as someone infected with measles - even two hours after the person left.

How is measles treated?

There are no specific treatments for measles, only measures to help alleviate the symptoms. Getting the measles vaccine is the best way to protect against the virus.

How is measles prevented?

Immunisation is the only effective method of prevention for measles. Yet diseases like measles are so contagious that around 95% of the population need to be fully vaccinated (two doses) against it to prevent sustained outbreaks. This is why it is so important that everyone who can be vaccinated is immunised urgently.

Your support will give children

  • Life-saving Immunisation

    Life-saving Immunisation

  • Improved Health

    Improved Health

  • Protection


  • Brighter Futures

    Brighter Futures

As a monthly supporter, you’ll receive

  • News & Updates

    News & Updates

  • Annual Tax Receipt

    Annual Tax Receipt

Make a difference today

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Tax Credit

Individuals can claim a 33.33% tax credit for all donations over $5 they make to this appeal.

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