In 1974, the World Health Organisation (WHO) started giving out vaccines worldwide through the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI). Now, after 50 years, researchers looked at how much this helped people stay healthy.

They found that vaccines have stopped 154 million deaths since 1974, with most of them being kids under 5 years old, including lots of babies under 1 year. Every time a death was stopped, it meant 66 more healthy years for people, adding up to 10.2 billion years of good health.

Vaccines are the reason why 40% fewer babies are dying globally now, and in Africa, it is even higher at 52%. This means that in 2024, a kid under 10 has a much better chance of making it to their next birthday because of vaccines. And it is not just kids – even grown-ups are living longer because of vaccination.

So, since 1974, more kids are staying alive all over the world, thanks to vaccines. The EPI has been the biggest reason why babies are surviving. Keeping vaccines easy to get is super important to keep saving lives from sicknesses that we can stop. 

Read the full research report here

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