Vaccination Current Affairs - 2019
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The findings of the study published in the journal eLife suggest that mass measles vaccination campaign of India helped save the lives of tens of thousands of children between 2010 and 2013.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. Measles has been an important cause of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine.
Findings of the Study
- The study suggests that that the measles vaccine campaigns helped save 41,000 to 56,000 children in India during 2010 to 2013, or 39-57 per cent of the expected number of deaths nationally.
- The study found that found that mortality in children aged between one and 59 months fell more in the campaign states following launch (27 per cent) than in the non-campaign states (11 per cent).
- The study notes that eliminating deaths from measles in India could be possible, although it will require continued diligence to ensure high immunisation rates among Indian children and direct mortality monitoring.
- Measles mortality risk was notably lower for children living in the campaign districts and those born between 2010-2013.
- The campaign was particularly successful for girls, as there was a steeper decline in the mortality rates of girls than boys in the vaccination campaign states during the three-year period.
- But still, the mortality rates remain higher for girls reference for boys and/or lower levels of breastfeeding and healthcare access.
The study adopted a novel statistical method on data from the Million Death Study (MDS), a nationally representative sample of all deaths in India, which includes detailed interviews with families about child deaths.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched the second phase of measles-rubella (MR) vaccination campaign to reduce measles morbidity and mortality,
The second phase of campaign will cover 8 states and union territories namely Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana and Uttarakhand.
The Health Ministry has initiated MR vaccination campaign in the age group of 9 months to less than 15 years in a phased manner in the country. It was started across the country under the universal immunisation programme (UIP).
The campaign aims to rapidly build up immunity for both measles and rubella diseases in the community to knock out the disease. Under the second phase, more than three crore children are expected to be covered in these 8 states.
Under this campaign, MR vaccine has replaced two doses of measles vaccine provided in the routine immunisation programme in these states. For those children who have already received such vaccination, the campaign dose will provide additional boosting to them.
Measles is one of the important causes of death in children. It is highly contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing of an infected person. It can also make a child vulnerable to life threatening complications such as diarrhoea, pneumonia and brain infection. Symptoms of the infection can include cataracts and deafness. It can also affect the heart and the brain.
Rubella disease is commonly known as German Measles (or three-day measles). It is symptomatically similar to measles. It is generally a mild infection, but has serious consequences if infection occurs in pregnant women, causing congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). CRS is characterized by congenital anomalies in the foetus and newborns affecting the eyes (cataract, glaucoma), brain (microcephaly, mental retardation), ears (hearing loss) and heart defects.