An effective measles vaccine has existed for the past 40 years. In 2002 an estimated 75% of one year olds were vaccinated worldwide against this highly contagious disease. Measles can be anything from mildly unpleasant to fatal. Undernourished people and those living with a poor health infrastructure (which hinders vaccination programmes) are at greater risk from measles.
In 2002, the most measles vaccinations occurred in India, China and the United States. The largest numbers of un-vaccinated infants live in India, China and Nigeria.