Indian Gov't to Administer Extra Vaccine Doses As Measles Cases Surge
Mumbai is seeing an outbreak of one of the most contagious viruses, the measles. The virus has killed 12 children since the first death was reported on October 26th.
As the cases of measles increase in India, the federal government has asked the state government to consider administering an additional dose of measles & rubella vaccines to all children aged nine months to five years in vulnerable areas.
This would include areas where measles cases in the given age group are above 10 percent of the total cases.
The direction came after a meeting convened by P. Ashok Babu, Joint Secretary of the federal Health Ministry, reviewed the situation on Wednesday.
It has also been suggested to send teams dealing with measles outbreaks to Jharkhand, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, and Kerala.
The virus is highly contagious - even more than COVID-19 - and can cause serious complications, including death.
The disease, which causes coughing, rashes, and fever, can be prevented if up to 95% is vaccinated with two doses of the mumps, measles and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
As children worldwide missed the measles vaccine in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID lockdown, cases of the virus have been reported globally.
In 2020, 23 million children missed out on all basic childhood vaccines. The following year, a record high of nearly 40 million children missed a measles vaccine dose.