Measles Rubella (MR) vaccination campaign was recently launched by The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in Bengaluru. This campaign will start five states/UTs (Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Goa and Lakshadweep) covering nearly 3.6 crore target children. The campaign is followed by Measles-Rubella vaccine which will be introduced in routine immunization, replacing the currently given two doses of measles vaccine at 9-12 months and 16-24 months of age.
The initiative was launched in the presence Sadananda Gowda, Union Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Ananth Kumar, Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Chemicals and Fertilizers, Faggan Singh Kulaste, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Sharanaprakash Rudrappa Patil, Minister of Medical Education, Karnataka, K.R. Ramesh Kumar, State Health Minister, Karnataka and Ramesh Arvind, celebrity actor, Karnataka. The dignitaries also launched the communication material on the occasion to raise the awareness about the initiative.
Speaking at the launch, Faggan Singh Kulaste stated, "Government is committed to eradicating Measles and Rubella from the country. We have taken this as an achievable target. This shall be taken up in a mission mode and rolled out in partnership with States , NGOs and development partners such as WHO, UNICEF, Gates Foundation, Lions Club, IPA, IMA, etc. In the nationwide campaign, the Ministry will reach out to and cover 41 crore children in the age group of 9 months - 15 years.
This campaign will target around 41 crore children across the country making it the largest ever campaign. All children aged between 9 months and less than 15 years will be given a single shot of Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccination irrespective of their previous measles/rubella vaccination status or measles/rubella disease status.
The vaccine will be provided free of cost across the states from session sites at schools as well as health facilities and outreach session sites. Measles vaccine is currently provided under Universal Immunization Programme (UIP). However, rubella vaccine will be a new addition.