Progress Toward Measles Elimination — Worldwide, 2000–2022

Anna A. Minta, Matt Ferrari, Sebastien Antoni, Allison Portnoy, Alyssa Sbarra, Brian Lambert, Cynthia Hatcher, Christopher H. Hsu, Lee Lee Ho, Claudia Steulet, Marta Gacic-Dobo, Paul A. Rota, Mick N. Mulders, Anindya Sekhar Bose, William Perea Caro, Patrick O’Connor, Natasha S. Crowcroft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Measles is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable disease that requires high population immunity for transmission to be interrupted. All six World Health Organization regions have committed to eliminating measles; however, no region has achieved and sustained measles elimination. This report describes measles elimination progress during 2000–2022. During 2000–2019, estimated coverage worldwide with the first dose of measles-containing vaccine (MCV) increased from 72% to 86%, then declined to 81% in 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic, representing the lowest coverage since 2008. In 2022, first-dose MCV coverage increased to 83%. Only one half (72) of 144 countries reporting measles cases achieved the measles surveillance indicator target of two or more discarded cases per 100,000 population in 2022. During 2021–2022, estimated measles cases increased 18%, from 7,802,000 to 9,232,300, and the number of countries experiencing large or disruptive outbreaks increased from 22 to 37. Estimated measles deaths increased 43% during 2021–2022, from 95,000 to 136,200. Nonetheless, an estimated 57 million measles deaths were averted by vaccination during 2000–2022. In 2022, measles vaccination coverage and global surveillance showed some recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic setbacks; however, coverage declined in low-income countries, and globally, years of suboptimal immunization coverage left millions of children unprotected. Urgent reversal of coverage setbacks experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic can be accomplished by renewing efforts to vaccinate all children with 2 MCV doses and strengthening surveillance, thereby preventing outbreaks and accelerating progress toward measles elimination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1262-1268
Number of pages7
JournalMMWR Recommendations and Reports
Issue number46
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine

Cite this