New Delhi: The government has launched the Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccination campaign in a phased manner for across the country to reduce measles morbidity and mortality, the Lok Sabha was informed on Friday.
Health Minister JP Nadda said the MR vaccination campaign will cover children in the age group of 9 months to less than 15 years.
“The campaign has started in February 2017 from five states and UTs — Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Goa and Lakshadweep — and about 3.33 crores children have been vaccinated during this campaign. The entire country will be covered under the campaign phase-wise,” he said during the Question Hour.
Following the campaign, MR vaccine has replaced two doses of measles vaccine provided in the routine immunisation programme in these states, he said.
The minister said measles was never eradicated from the country and the cases have continued to be reported from various parts of the country.
He said the steps have been taken by the government to prevent measles, including single dose measles vaccine which is given to a child of between 9 to 12 months. A campaign was started across the country under the universal immunisation programme (UIP) in 1985.
The second dose of measles vaccine, given to a child aged between 16-24 months, was introduced in 2010 in the routine immunisation programme.
Mr Nadda said in 14 states, where evaluated coverage was less than 80 per cent, second dose of measles was introduced after the measles campaign in 2010-13 covering children from 9 months to less than 10 years.
During this campaign about 12 crore children were vaccinated. Intensification of both first and second doses of measles vaccination coverage was undertaken under Mission Indradhanush from 2015, he added.