COVID-­19 caused significant declines in regular vitamin A supplementation for young children in 2020: what is next?


Andreas Hasman, Annette Imohe, Julia Krasevec, Grainne Moloney, Victor M Aguayo

Summary box

  • Service disruptions caused significant declines in coverage of vitamin A supplementation in 2020.

  • The largest declines were in the first half of the year, following widespread suspension of mass campaigns.

  • Countries with the highest child mortality, and therefore the greatest need for supplementation, had the lowest coverage in 2020, reversing the situation in 2019.

  • In the context of COVID-19, vitamin A supplementation delivery through routine systems was more resilient than delivery in campaigns.

  • To regain lost coverage and move towards universal coverage, countries must strengthen delivery systems with a renewed impetus to reach children most at risk.