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Union Government launches measles-rubella vaccination drive

Subsequently, the measles-rubella vaccine campaign will be introduced in routine immunisation, replacing the currently given two doses of measles vaccine, at 9-12 months and 16-24 months of age.

Feb 7, 2017 08:17 IST
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The Union Health Ministry on 5 February 2017 launched the measles-rubella (MR) vaccination campaign in Bengaluru.

The crusade against the two diseases will start from five states/UTs Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Goa and Lakshadweep covering nearly 3.6 crore children.

Subsequently, the measles-rubella vaccine campaign will be introduced in routine immunisation, replacing the currently given two doses of measles vaccine, at 9-12 months and 16-24 months of age.

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About MR vaccination campaign

The campaign targets around 41 crore children across India, the largest ever in any such campaign.

Under the campaign, children aged between 9 months and less than 15 years will be given a single shot of Measles-Rubella vaccination irrespective of their previous measles/rubella vaccination status or measles/rubella disease status.

The vaccine, which will be free-of-cost, will be administered across the states from session sites at schools, health facilities and outreach session sites.

At present, measles vaccine is provided under Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP). However, rubella vaccine will be a new addition.

About measles

Measles is a highly contagious infection caused by the measles virus.

It is an airborne disease. It spreads easily through the coughs and sneezes of those infected.

The measles vaccination has resulted in a 75 per cent decrease in deaths from measles between 2000 and 2013. At present, around 85 per cent of children are being currently vaccinated globally.

As a result of widespread vaccination, the disease was eliminated from the Americas by 2016.

About rubella

Rubella is an infection caused by the rubella virus.

It is also known as German measles or three-day measles.

The disease is usually spread through the air via coughs of people who are infected.

It is preventable with the rubella vaccine with a single dose being more than 95 per cent effective.

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