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.
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.
• 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.
• 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.
When: 5 February 2017