Mumbai: The BMC has been left with a limited stock of Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccines, as a major part of the cold storage has been monopolised by the central government sponsored Measles Rubella (MR) vaccines.
Now the city’s children stand to miss the first dosage of the crucial MMR vaccination in civic hospitals, exposing them to the risk of mumps. The last purchase of MMR vaccine stock was made in August-September 2017 after which the BMC has not bought any additional stock, due to the lack of cold storage facility.
This was highlighted by NCP corporator Dr Saida Khan in the health committee meeting on Friday. “Kids in Mumbai are being given only MR vaccines and they will have to miss the first dosage of MMR since the BMC has supplied only a limited stock to civic hospitals,” claimed Khan.
According to city paediatricians, the first dosage of MMR vaccines is given to a 15 month-child, followed by a booster dose at the age of five. “However, the booster dosage at five years of age is useless without the first dosage. This can expose a baby to the threat of mumps,” said a medical doctor.
Khan questioned BMC officials and alleged that they should be held responsible for this lapse. “How can BMC stop purchase of the medicine and expose babies to the risk of mumps? I am not against the centrally sponsored MR vaccination drive, but BMC should make available additional storage facilities for their stock of vaccines,” Khan said.
The Free Press Journal tried contacting civic officials, but they were unavailable for response. The MR vaccination drive is similar to the polio campaign and undertaken across India for age groups between nine months to 15 years. The drive is supported by World Health Organisation and implemented by the government of India to eradicate measles and rubella.