It's outrageous how many children are dying from measles, the World Health Organization's director general says.
According to new data released by WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control today, more than 142,000 people died of the preventable disease last year.
Most of those dying are children under five years old, WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says.
"The fact that any child dies from a vaccine-preventable disease like measles is frankly an outrage and a collective failure to protect the world's most vulnerable children."
There were nearly 10 million cases last year amid a worldwide surge of deadly measles outbreaks.
But this year, there have been three times as many cases reported than at the same point in 2018.
"To save lives, we must ensure everyone can benefit from vaccines, which means investing in immunisation and quality healthcare as a right for all," Dr Adhanom Ghebreyesus says.
The data release comes as Samoa battles a fatal measles epidemic which has swept through the island nation.
So far, 63 people have died, most of them children under four years old, and 4357 have been diagnosed with the disease.
In New Zealand, children usually receive their first measles vaccination at 15 months old, followed by a second at four years old.
An outbreak in Auckland has prompted DHBs to bring the schedule forward in some cases; babies heading to an area with a serious outbreak, either in Auckland or overseas, can get their first dose from six months old before receiving their usual scheduled ones.