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Government launches second phase of Measles-rubella vaccination campaign

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In a bid to eliminate measles and curb instances of rubella by 2020, Union Government has rolled out the second phase of its measles-rubella (MR) vaccination campaign in the country.

About measles-rubella (MR):

Measlesis a highly contagious infection caused by the measles virus.It is an airborne disease,which spreads easily through the coughs and sneezes of those infected.

  • Measles affects about 20 million people a year, primarily in the developing areas of Africa and Asia.
  • Rubella, also known as German measles or three-day measles, is an infection caused by the rubella virus.
  • Rubella is usually spread through the air via coughs of people who are infected.
  • Each year about 100,000 cases of congenital rubella syndrome occur.

Indian Government’s measles-rubella (MR) vaccination campaign:

Union Health Ministry’s campaign against these two diseases intends to cover approximately 41 crore children in a phased manner, making it the largest-ever worldwide.

  • The first phase of the campaign was launched across five states/UT — Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Lakshadweep and Puducherry in February 2017.
  • The drive was carried out at schools, community centres and medical institutes, covering children between the ages of nine months and 15 years.
  • During the first phase, more than 3.3 crore children were vaccinated, reaching Government launches second phase of Measles-rubella vaccination campaignout to 97% of the intended age group.
  • In the second phase, nearly 3.4 crore children across eight states and union territories — Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu — will be covered.
  • In order to achieve maximum coverage during the campaign, the Union health ministry has collaborated with several entities, including civil society groups, development partners, other ministries and organisations such as the Indian Association of Paediatrics, Indian Medical Association and Lions Club.

Information about measles-rubella (MR) Vaccine:

  • The MR vaccine is meant for every child in the prescribed age group, and can be administered even if they have already received it.
  • After the special drive is completed, the MR vaccine will be made a part of the routine immunisation process, replacing the measles vaccine that’s currently being given between 9-12 months and 16-24 months after birth.