Measles also referred to as morbilli or rubeola or
red measles is a highly infective viral disease which mainly affects children
and spreads very easily. A WHO report from 2018 highlights that there has been
an increase in the number of measles cases reported in the U.S, the Eastern
Mediterranean region, and Europe.
‘The Measles Immunization Day aims to promote the use of and create awareness about the measles vaccine, as measles is one of the leading causes of death and disability in children.’
in February 2019, almost 70 people, mostly children below 4 years, were found
dead because of measles. India has been identified as one of the nations
with the highest measles incidence rate per million with 66794 cases reported
between 2017 and 2018, according to WHO. Gaps in vaccination
coverage and hesitancy in getting children vaccinated seem to major hurdles in
tackling the deadly disease.
Measles Immunization in India
Immunization is considered
one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions that could
potentially save millions of lives around the world. A mass measles
vaccination campaign in India between 2010 and 2013 saved the lives of
Government started the Measles-Rubella (MR) Campaign which targets children and
adolescents up to the age of 15 years, aiming to control rubella and eliminate
measles by 2020. The measles vaccine in India is given in two doses, once at
9-12 months of age and again at 16-24 months of age.
MMR Vaccine – Who needs it?
Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine (MMR
vaccine) has to be
administered to children up to 6 years in 2 doses, to those adults who do not
have immunity, international travelers and healthcare professional who show no
trace of immunity.
It is recommended that children up to the age of
12 years be given the MMRV vaccine which also controls varicella (chickenpox). Two doses of
the MMR vaccine have been found to be 97 percent effective against
percent against mumps and even one dose is 97 percent effective against rubella.
is not recommended for pregnant women, people with severe allergies and those
with weak immune systems.
World Immunization Week 2019
celebrates the World Immunization Week every year in the last week of April. It
aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people from deadly diseases like
measles. Despite the success of various immunizations campaigns around the
world, nearly 20 million children remain unvaccinated. Various stakeholders
like the parents, community members, healthcare workers and medical
professional are responsible for the success of campaigns.
is fundamental in achieving positive health outcomes and the campaigns have to
be particularly intensive in the poor, marginalized and conflict-affected
parts of the world.
- Measles Immunization Day – (https://www.nhp.gov.in/Measles-Immunization-Day_pg)
- World Immunization Week 2019 – (https://www.who.int/news-room/events/detail/2019/04/24/default-calendar/world-immunization-week-2019)
- Measles – (https://www.who.int/immunization/diseases/measles/en/)