Measles-Rubella vaccination drive in Uttrakhand from Monday

Sunday, October 29 2017

Measles-Rubella vaccination drive in Uttrakhand from Monday

New Delhi: The Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry will start its measles rubella vaccination campaign in Uttarakhand from Monday, hoping to target more than 28 lakh children across 13 districts of the state, an official statement said.
Being conducted with the support of World Health Organisation and Unicef, the vaccination drive is part of the second phase of the campaign to eliminate measles and control rubella or congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) by 2020.

"This largest ever vaccination campaign worldwide aims to cover approximately 41 crore children in the age group of nine months to less than 15 years of age," Unicef said in a statement, adding that they will be given a single shot of Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccine.

"Following the campaign, MR vaccine will become a part of routine immunization and will replace measles vaccine, currently given at 9-12 months and 16-24 months of age," Unicef said.
The first phase of measles-rubella vaccination campaign was launched in February this year by the Ministry in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Lakshadweep and Puducherry.

More than 3.3 crore children were vaccinated, reaching out to 97 per cent of the intended age group, it said.
The second phase of the vaccination drive was launched in August in eight states and Union Territories and is going on in seven of them.

Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana and Uttarakhand form the target for this phase with the Ministry aiming to cover 3.4 crore children.

The measles-rubella campaign marks the introduction of the rubella vaccine in India's childhood immunization programme for the first time.

Rubella, commonly referred to as German measles, is a mild infection but can have serious consequences if it occurs in pregnant women.

Highly contagious, it spreads through coughing and 134,200 measles deaths globally in 2015, around 49,200 occurred in India -- nearly 36 per cent. Those who survive are more vulnerable to its complications such as diarrhoea and pneumonia.