European countries with the highest incidence of measles 2019

In 2019, Ukraine had by far the highest rate of measles in Europe with over 1,302 cases per million population (pmp). This was followed by Georgia with approximately 981 cases pmp and North Macedonia where there were 904 cases pmp. The eight countries in Europe with the highest amount of measles cases are generally located in Eastern and Southeastern Europe.

Vaccine skepticism in Europe

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that the spread of diseases can be controlled and eventually eradicated if over 95 percent of the population is immunized. Although the uptake of vaccinations among in Europe has been hindered by a rise in vaccine skepticism. In 2018, of 41 European countries surveyed, only four countries (Iceland, Norway, Albania and Portugal) had more than a 95 percent share of individuals who believed that vaccines are important for children to have.

Link between cases and low vaccination rate

The high number of cases in some countries could be linked to vaccination rates. Ukraine, North Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina have some of the lowest prevalence of children vaccinated against measles in Europe. Less than 70 percent of children in Bosnia-Herzegovina have been vaccinated, while in Ukraine 86 percent have been vaccinated. In a 2018 survey, only 29 percent of individuals in Ukraine and 54 percent in North Macedonia believed that vaccines were safe.

Countries in Europe with the highest incidence of measles cases in 2019

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Source

Release date

February 2020

Region

Europe

Survey time period

2019

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