Measles vaccination drive: States divided into three categories and many more. Check details!

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Low vaccination rate, weekend measles surveillance and delay in immunisation due to the COVID-19 pandemic have caused a resurgence of measles in the country. Experts have confirmed that the number of measles cases has tripled in the country after COVID-19.

According to Dr Ashish Chauhan, Health Specialist at UNICEF India, the number of measle cases has tripled compared to 2021. “The cases of rubella virus during pregnancy have also tripled. Vaccination can prevent measles and rubella infection,” said Dr. Chauhan.

Vaccination Drive:

Each state in the country has been categorised into three zones for vaccination. Of these, 183 have been identified as low hazardous, 386 as medium dangerous and 164 as over hazardous.

Children between 9 months to 15 years in West Bengal will be vaccinated from January 9, 2023. According to Alka Gupta, Communication Specialist at UNICEF India, the goal is to vaccinate two crores of 30 lakh children in the state.

“By December 2023, all the children in the country will have received the MMR Vaccine (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella),” says Ms. Gupta.

How can media play a key role?

Dr. Veena Dhawan, Additional Commissioner for the National Vaccination Program, believes media professionals have been apprised of the vaccination drive and must take responsibility to spread awareness.

“The media must play its role in the task of raising awareness. Awareness and vaccination are the only ways to prevent infection and possible death,” said Dr. Dhawan.

Symptoms of measles?

The symptoms of measles may include fever, skin rashes, watery eyes, pink eye, malaise and muscle pain. If not treated in time, these symptoms can develop into pneumonia, encephalitis and diarrhoea.

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These symptoms can also prove to be fatal. The highest mortality rate due to measles is in the age group of 0-5 years, which is 32 deaths per thousand children.

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