Immunisation has been one of the great success stories of global health. It is estimated to prevent the deaths of two to three million children each year. But another 1.5 million children still die from diseases that could be prevented by routine vaccines.

 

The eradication of smallpox in 1979 helped encourage global efforts to fight more diseases through immunisation. These maps chart the growth of global vaccine coverage from 1980 and show which countries are doing best - and worst - at protecting their population. The three vaccines illustrated combat five infections and have been chosen as they demonstrate varying levels of progress against several major diseases.