By the time you finish reading this, around 30 children will have been saved thanks to vaccines.

Over the last 50 years, that adds up to 150 million children. That’s more than twice the population of the United Kingdom.

That’s 150 million children who will grow up, experience life, and contribute to the world; over a hundred million sets of parents who were spared the tragedy of having to bury their children.

This figure comes from a new study from Andrew Shattock and other researchers from around the world. They estimated the number of lives saved from vaccinations against different diseases over the past 50 years.

The two charts below show the number of lives saved, broken down by disease and region.

Vaccination against measles has had the biggest impact, saving 94 million lives over the last 50 years — more than 60% of the total.

This has been a truly global effort, with more than 5 million children saved in every region, including over 50 million in Africa and 38 million in Southeast Asia. You can see the cumulative number of lives saved by WHO region in the chart below.

Children of all ages have benefited massively from the expansion of immunization programs. But it’s in infants that vaccines have had the most crucial impact.

Infant mortality rates have plummeted over the last 50 years.

Globally, they’ve fallen by over two-thirds, from around 10% in 1974 to less than 3% today.

The study’s researchers estimate that 40% of this decline is due to vaccines.

The other 60% of the decline has been driven by other factors, including improved nutrition, prenatal and neonatal care, access to clean water and sanitation, and other basic resources.

Read the full article about vaccines for infant mortality rates by Hannah Ritchie at Our World in Data.