Poor vaccination rates are to blame for the increase and WHO has said that “vaccine hesitancy” – the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate – was one of the world’s biggest threats to health.
Widening pockets of unvaccinated children have created a pathway to the measles outbreaks hitting many countries around the world, Unicef said.
The United States tops the list of high-income countries with the most children not receiving the first dose of the vaccine between 2010 and 2017, at more than 2.5 million. It is followed by France and the UK, with over 600,000 and 500,000 unvaccinated children, respectively, during the same period.
Last week US President Donald Trump urged Americans to “get their shots” after nearly 700 cases of measles were reported across 22 states. President Trump has previously appeared to link vaccines with autism and, earlier in his presidency, looked into setting up a vaccine safety committee.