Delhi

Delhi set to roll out largest immunisation drive against measles-rubella

Five-week MR vaccination campaign to target children in the age group of 9 months to less than 15 years in 11 districts

The city is all set to see the roll-out of one of its largest immunisation drives offering 55 lakh children in the age group of 9 months to less than 15 years measles-rubella (MR) vaccination additional cover.

Starting on January 16, the five-week MR campaign aims to offer vaccination to children in the eleven districts of Delhi covering all pre-school children, school students (government and private) and out-of-school children.

Children will be provided with an additional dose of MR vaccine regardless of previous vaccination status or history of measles/rubella-like illness.

Orientation programme

“Departments of Health and Education are also partnering in the MR campaign so that students and teachers of all the schools in the city actively participate. The campaign will include orientation for officers/principals, teachers and students by experts from the Health Department. The MR campaign will be conducted within a period of 3-4 weeks starting January 16. Vaccination programme will be conducted in the schools during the first 2 weeks,” explained Nutan Mundeja, Director of Directorate of Family Welfare, Delhi government.

Dr. Mundeja was speaking at a workshop, organised by the Directorate of Family Welfare with the support of UNICEF and World Health Organisation, on the campaign in the city on Thursday.

What is rubella?

“The campaign marks the introduction of rubella vaccine in India’s childhood immunisation programme for the first time. Rubella, which is commonly referred to as German measles is a mild infection, but can have serious consequences if it occurs in pregnant women. The new MR vaccine also protects against measles, a major killer of small children. Highly contagious, it spreads through coughing and 1,34,200 measles deaths were reported globally in 2015 out of which around 49,200 occurred in India [nearly 36 per cent]. Those who survive are more vulnerable to complications such as diarrhoea and pneumonia,” explained Pradeep Haldar, Deputy Commissioner of Immunisation, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Dr. Haldar added that India is committed to eliminate measles and control rubella/congenital rubella syndrome(CRS) by 2020. The largest ever vaccination campaign worldwide aims to cover approximately 40 crore children .

20 crore kids covered

“Children will be given a single shot of MR vaccination during the campaign. Since the launch in 2017, the MRV campaign has covered nearly 20 crore children in 30 States and Union Territories. Immunisation is one of the most effective and cost-effective way to protect children’s lives. The recently introduced vaccine will be provided for free during the campaign in schools, health centres and outreach session sites. This is a major step to achieve our goals,” said Dr. Haldar.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 3:37:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/city-set-to-roll-out-largest-immunisation-drive-against-measles-rubella/article25964287.ece

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