Bhubaneswar: Odisha government will launch a five-week aggressive Measles-Rubella vaccination campaign from January 29 for children in the age group of 9 months to 15 years as part of the National Immunisation Programme which aims to eradicate the disease that leads to severe disabilities in children.
The vaccine will replace the existing two-dose measles vaccination given to children in between 9 & 12 months and 16 & 24 months of age. The National Immunisation Programme aims to eradicate the disease by 2020.
This major decision was taken at the significant State Level Steering Committee Meeting of the Health and Family Welfare Department chaired by Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi flanked by Health Secretary Dr Pramod Meherda and Women & Child Development Secretary prominent among others.
Briefing media, Odisha Health Secretary Pramod Meherda informed, “A new vaccine named as Measles-Rubella Vaccine will be launched in the State on a campaign mode. For that purpose, State Steering Committee has been formed headed by the Chief Secretary. Today we held its second meeting.”
“Approximately 1.24 crore children of our State will be vaccinated. It’ll start from January 29 for next 5 weeks. In the first two weeks we’ll cover all schools and their hostels, both government and private. The children will be of 9 months to 15 years of age. The next two weeks will be spent in community for those left out children. And in the last week, all the children will be covered under the mop up round. Our target is to cover at least over 95% of the 1.24 children in our State,” the Health Secretary stated.
The children, who might have skipped the programme in first four weeks, will be vaccinated in the last week.
The immunisation programme is very much important which aims at reducing the infant mortality rate (IMR) as Measles is one of leading killing disease among the children whereas congenital rubella syndrome is also responsible for irreversible birth defects, experts said.