Young patient receiving treatment after being showing symptoms of yellow fever, Delta State, Nigeria, 2020
The Yellow Fever Annual Report for 2020 is now published in the Weekly Epidemiological Record (WER). Amidst the difficulties of continuing to protect at-risk populations during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is testament to all those working on yellow fever activities, that the number of YF vaccinations increased in 2020 in comparison to 2019.
More information below on the impact of COVID-19, as well as the expansion of the disease across the continent of Africa, reinforcing the importance of maintaining high levels of vaccination, and to ensure that EYE’s goal of protecting nearly 1 billion people by 2026 is met.
The number of countries that reported YF outbreaks in Africa was the highest since 2009, with an additional 7 countries reporting confirmed cases. In the Americas, YF cases were confirmed between 2020 and 2021 in settings with low population immunity, namely Brazil, French Guiana and Peru.
The increased YF transmission in 2020 illustrates the continued risk posed by sylvatic transmission and spill-over into susceptible populations. The re-emergence of YF outbreaks in Guinea and Senegal, in areas that had previously benefited from large-scale vaccination through the YF initiative (2006–2014), is a sobering reminder of the importance of achieving and sustaining equitable, high vaccination coverage of all at-risk populations.
The COVID-19 pandemic presented an additional challenge to YF control, particularly between March and August 2020, with negative impacts on YF surveillance, interruption of vaccination campaigns and routine immunization (RI) services. YF prevention activities regained momentum in the subsequent months, and 48 million people were protected against YF for life in 2020 in reactive and preventive campaigns in Africa – a marked increase from 2019. This remarkable achievement was supported by YF stakeholders at all levels, from countries to global partners, and identification of innovative solutions to support countries in safe YF vaccination with mitigation of COVID-19 risk.
*Extracted from WER page 377, Global Yellow Fever Update 2020
To read the full report, click here