Measles Rubella Vaccination Campaign in India: Does your child need the MR vaccine ?

India has launched one of the world’s largest vaccination campaign against measles, a major childhood killer disease, and congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), responsible for irreversible birth defects. The campaign aims to vaccinate more than 35 million children in the age group of nine months to 15 years with MR (measles and rubella) vaccine. It demonstrates India’s commitment to improve health and well-being of its people by protecting children against vaccine preventable diseases. For the MR campaign to be effective, it is important that throughout its duration, and in routine immunization thereafter, no child is left behind. What is measles? Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus. Measles can occur in a person who has never had measles and has no immunity against it. Who is at risk? Any non-immune person who has not been vaccinated – or was vaccinated but did not develop immunity – can become infected and is at highest risk of measles and its complications, including death. Current situation of measles in India Measles is a leading cause of childhood deaths. Every year around 3 million cases of Measles are seen and about 900,000 children die because of Measles around the world. Every year in India nearly 2.7 million children get measles. Those who survive, suffer from serious complications including diarrhoea, pneumonia and malnutrition. In India everyday, 500 children die because of Measles. The most worrying part is that the vaccine coverage against Measles in India is only 66% and even below 50% in many states. What is rubella? Rubella is an acute, contagious viral infection transmitted through the respiratory route in children and young adults. The...