Government launches Measles Rubella vaccination campaign

THE Union Health Ministry on Sunday launched the measles-rubella (MR) vaccination campaign in Bengaluru. The campaign against these two diseases will start from five states/UTs Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Goa and Lakshadweep covering nearly 3.6 crore children. Following the campaign, measles-rubella vaccine 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. Speaking at the launch, MoS Health Faggan Singh Kulaste said that the government is committed to eradicating measles and rubella from the country. We have taken this as an achievable target. This shall be taken up in a mission mode and rolled out in partnership with states, NGOs and development partners such as WHO, UNICEF, Gates Foundation, Lions Club, IPA, IMA, etc. In the nationwide campaign, the ministry will reach out to and cover 41 crore children in the age group of 9 months to 15 years. He urged parents, caretakers, community leaders, teachers, anganwaadi workers and other frontline health workers to become an active part of this campaign. The MR campaign targets around 41 crore children across the country, the largest ever in any campaign. All children aged between 9 months and less than 15 years will be given a single shot of Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccination irrespective of their previous measles/rubella vaccination status or measles/rubella disease status. M-R vaccine will be provided free of cost across the states from session sites at schools as well as health facilities and outreach session sites. Measles vaccine is currently provided under Universal Immunization Programme (UIP). However, rubella vaccine will be an addition. After the completion of the campaign, MR vaccine will be introduced in routine immunisation and will replace measles vaccine, given at 9-12 months and 16-24 months of age of the child.

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