Jayalalithaa launches anti-rubella campaign

CHENNAI Oct. 10. A campaign to administer rubella vaccine to young women was inaugurated by the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, at the Secretariat on Friday. She offered the vaccine kits to 10 beneficiaries, who were later administered the vaccine by health professionals. An official release said the vaccine would be administered to adolescent girls in 10-15 age group, in addition to the regular measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine given to children between 24 months and 60 months.

The scheme had been launched in Andipatti, Jayamkandom, Annagramam, Kizhpennathur and Anaicut panchayat unions, covering 22,500 adolescent girls, and the MMR would be administered to 25,000 children. It would be extended to the other unions in Theni, Permabalur, Cuddalore, Tiruvannamalai and Vellore districts in the next phase.

Later, the whole State would be covered, for which the Government had allotted Rs. 3.93 crores.

The release, quoting a WHO report, said rubella or German measles, if contracted by pregnant women, could lead to birth of disabled children. The WHO had noted that virulent rubella attacks occurred once in three years in the Indian sub-content and 40 per cent of the infants born to rubella-infected mothers suffered physical and mental disability.