State steps up measles vaccination campaign

A special campaign has been planned in two phases in which unvaxxed children aged nine months to five years will be jabbed

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Wednesday, December 07, 2022, 04:35 AM IST
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Mumbai: The State Measles Taskforce has now decided to conduct a special vaccination campaign in two phases between Dec 15 and 25, and January 15-25, 2023. Under the initiative, all children aged nine months to five years who have missed a single dose of measles-rubella will be given two doses of measles-rubella at an interval of four weeks. For this purpose, all the districts and municipalities should prepare the beneficiary list for this special campaign and organise additional vaccination sessions accordingly.

This comes after Maharashtra has witnessed 109 outbreaks of measles, which is the highest since 2019. The total number of confirmed cases has surged to 851 to date. As of now, over 1.72 lakh children are due for their first and second doses. The health crisis gets aggravated as children between six months to five years are more impacted by measles as most of them have not taken their vaccines.

“Maharashtra Health Minister has directed all district officers to emphasise on vaccination drives. Moreover, all the district's health officers have been asked to make a list of eligible beneficiaries between nine months to five years who have missed their measles doses,” said State Surveillance Officer Dr Pradip Awate.

State Immunisation Officer Dr Sachin Desai said all civic bodies will determine the exact number of children who will need the measles shot and areas that are reporting a surge in confirmed cases.

Meanwhile, the BMC has set up 52 health posts across the city where so far 14,285 children between the age group of nine months to five years have been administered additional doses and 725 children between six and nine months vaxxed.

“Our focus is to vaccinate as many children between six and nine months considering most deaths have occurred in this age group. Most of them were not immunised due to which we are creating awareness through different modes of communication,” said an officer. 

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