Assam Government is all set to launch a massive campaign in every district of the State from August 6 to introduce measles-rubella (MR) vaccine under its immunization programme.
A media sensitization programme in this regard was held on Thursday at the Joint Director of Health Services conference hall in Kokrajhar.
Briefing the media persons, Joint Director Health and Family Welfare Department, Dr J Ahmed said the measles-rubella (MR) vaccine will be launched in the State from August 6 in every district of the State.
The aim was to ensure that all children between nine months and 15 years got the MR vaccine shot irrespective of their immunization status as far as measles/rubella was concerned.
District immunization officer, Dr Amol Machary, said the vaccine would be given at all schools, community, anganwadi and government health centres during the campaign that is expected to be held for 30 working days.
He said all government departments, UNICEF and other social organizations had joined hands to make this immunization drive successful.
Dr Machary said all children from nine months to 15 years of age will be given a single shot of Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccination during the campaign.
Following the campaign, MR vaccine will become a part of routine immunization and will replace measles vaccine, currently given at 9-12 months and 16-24 months of age of children.
“For those children who have already received such vaccination, the campaign dose would provide additional boosting to them,” he said.
Dr Machahry said MR Vaccine is a safe and an effective vaccine, in use for over 40 years and in many countries across the world.
The vaccine being given in the MR campaign is produced in India and is WHO prequalified.
The same vaccine is being given in routine immunization programme of India and in many neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Myanmar.
Private practitioners in India have been giving Measles – Rubella ( MR ) or Measles – Mumps – Rubella ( MMR ) vaccine to the children for many years.
Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) endorses the strategy of MR vaccination.
The Measles-Rubella campaign is a part of global efforts to reduce illness and deaths due to measles and rubella/CRS in the country.
Measles immunization directly contributes to the reduction of under-five child mortality, and in combination with rubella vaccine, it will control rubella and prevent CRS.
The campaign aims to rapidly build up immunity for both measles and rubella diseases in the community so as to knock out the disease, therefore, all the children should receive MR vaccine during the campaign, Dr Machary added.