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TS Health Dept to administer special dose of MRCV Vaccine for children across State

Hyderabad: The State Public Health Department is likely to administer a special dose of Measles and Rubella Containing Vaccine (MRCV) for children between 9 months and 5 years in vulnerable areas across Telangana, following an advisory from union Health Ministry.

A group of experts from the Health Ministry including WHO have urged the Indian States to administer a special dose of MRCV to children between 9 months and 5 years, after a significant outbreak of measles in six Indian states – Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Kerala and Maharashtra. The outbreak took place in areas that were predominantly unvaccinated or the coverage of MRCV vaccines was average.

A rapid rise in number of cases and some mortality due to Measles has also been observed in Mumbai and other districts of Maharashtra.

“Consider administering one additional special dose for Measles and Rubella (MRCV) to all children of 9 months to 5 years in vulnerable areas in ‘Outbreak Response Immunization’ (ORl) mode. This dose would be in addition to the primary vaccination schedule of first dose at 9-12 months and second dose at 16-24 months,” the Health Ministry advisory said.

Every year, measles is known to surge in large numbers during November and March, annually. Hence, an active fever and rash surveillance mechanism needs to be strengthened for early case identification.

States should take head count survey of all children aged 6 months to 5 years in vulnerable outbreak areas to facilitate full MRCV coverage in an accelerated manner, the advisory said.

The District Task Force on immunisation led by the District Collector will review the situation of measles on a daily/weekly basis and plan the response activities accordingly.

Measles is known to be fatal among children with moderate and severe malnourishment and therefore as part of the case identification and management, house-to-house search activities to identify such vulnerable children so that they can be provided with nutritional and Vitamin A supplementation as precaution.