NEW DELHI: Aiming to cover 3.40 crore children in 8 states in the country, ministry of health and family welfare has started second phase of measles-rubella vaccination campaign.
Officials said that the second phase of vaccination is starting in 8 states and UTs including Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana and Uttarakhand from August 2017.
During the first phase of the drive in five states, many parents in some cities like Bengaluru and others had opposed to the drive. There were also some instances of children taken ill after the vaccination.
The first phase of measles-rubella vaccination campaign has been completed in five states, namely, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Lakshadweep and Puducherry. More than 3.3 crore children were vaccinated, reaching out to 97% of the intended age group. The campaign was carried out in schools, community centers and health facilities
Officials said that the campaign aims to rapidly build up immunity for both measles and rubella diseases in the community so as to knock out the disease, therefore, all the children should receive MR vaccine during the campaign.
In order to achieve maximum coverage during the campaign, multiple stakeholders have been involved, which includes, apart from Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, other Ministries, development partners, Lions clubs, professional bodies, for example, Indian Association of Pediatrics, Indian Medical Association, Civil Society Organizations etc.
India, along with ten other WHO South East Asia Region member countries, have resolved to eliminate measles and control rubella or congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) by 2020. In this direction, the government has initiated measles-rubella (MR) vaccination campaign in the age group of 9 months to less than 15 years in a phased manner across the nation.
The campaign aims to cover approximately 41 crore children and is going to be the largest ever vaccination campaign worldwide. All children from 9 months to less than 15 years of age will be given a single shot of Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccination during the campaign. 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 of child.