Hyderabad: Telangana Public Health Department will likely administer a special dose of Measles and Rubella Containing Vaccine (MRCV) for children between 9 months and 5 years in vulnerable regions across Telangana.
The vaccine drive is being taken up following an advisory from the union health ministry after a group of experts from the ministry urged the indian states to administer a special dose of MRCV to children.
The outbreak of measles in six Indian states including Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Kerala, and Maharashtra, that were predominantly unvaccinated or the coverage of MRCV vaccines was average, led the ministry to take up a vaccination drive for kids.
On the other hand, a rise in the number of cases of death triggered by measles was seen in Mumbai and other districts of Maharashtra.
The Health ministry advisory stated, “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 the first dose at 9-12 months and the second dose at 16-24 months.”
A rapid increase in the number of cases related to measles is observed mainly in the months of November and March which calls for a need for rash surveillance mechanisms to strengthen the early identification of the disease.
The advisory further stated that states should take a headcount survey of all children aged 6 months to 5 years in vulnerable outbreak areas to facilitate full MRCV coverage in an accelerated manner.
The District Task Force on immunization 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 hence door to door searches are initiated to identify vulnerable children and administer them nutritionally with Vitamin A supplementation, which is taken up as a precautionary measure.