UNITED NATIONS                 -               Over 13 million children did not receive any vaccinations in 2018, and millions more are in danger of missing life-saving vaccines this year due to disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a UNICEF report. Even before the coronavirus outbreak shut down vital immunization programmes, more than 20 million children living in countries with weak healthcare systems went without measles, polio and other vaccines every year, the report from UN's children agency said. The agency called on governments to step up, warning that disrupting immunization services amid the COVID-19 pandemic could leave even more of the world’s most marginalized children without access to life-saving vaccines. “The stakes have never been higher. As COVID-19 continues to spread globally, our life-saving work to provide children with vaccines is critical,” Robin Nandy, UNICEF Principal Adviser and Chief of Immunization, said in a statement.  With disruptions in immunization services due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she stressed that the fates of millions of young lives “hang in the balance.” UNICEF estimates that 182 million children missed out on the first dose of the measles vaccine between 2010 and 2018, or 20.3 million children a year on average. This is because the global coverage of the first dose of measles stands only at 86 per cent, well below the 95 per cent needed to prevent measles outbreaks. Widening pockets of unvaccinated children led to alarming measles outbreaks in 2019, including in high-income countries like the US, UK and France.