29 July launch for Measles Rubella vaccination campaign

Gangtok, 23 Jul (IPR): The Department of Health Care, Human services and Family welfare, Government of Sikkim in line with Nationwide Measles and Rubella (MR) vaccination campaign (in phased manner) is going to launch Measles and Rubella vaccination campaign (MRVC) throughout the state from 29 Jul, 2019.

It will cover all children between the age of 9 months(+) to less than 15 years with a single shot injection of MR vaccine in Right upper arm irrespective of previous vaccination with any Measles containing Vaccine.

The approximate target beneficiary is 1,73,719. The vaccine and other logistics will be provided totally free of cost under universal immunization program.

The campaign will initially cover all (government, government aided and private) schools followed by community based approach for left out and non-school going children. In schools all children reading up-to class 10 will be covered.

There will be a need based sweeping activity towards the end of the campaign to cover the missed children. The tentative duration of school phase is 2 weeks, community phase is 2 weeks and sweeping activity is 1week. Marking of left thumb nail of every beneficiary with indelible marker pen will be done following the vaccination and will be provided with MR vaccination certificate.

The objective of the campaign is to eliminate measles disease and control rubella disease by the year 2020 .The target of the campaign is to cover 100% eligible beneficiary and the evaluated coverage needs to be more than 95%.

In India, more than 30 crore children have already been vaccinated safely during this campaign so far and this MR vaccine is already in use in Sikkim since May 2018 in routine immunization at 9–12 months (MR1) and 16–24 months (MR2) without any adverse report. There will be no house to house campaign activity like pulse polio as it is an injectable campaign.

The campaign is supported and will be monitored by developmental partners like World Health organization, UNICEF. The campaign will be also monitored by designated state and district officials to ensure the quality of the campaign.

The campaign will be carried out with the close cooperation and support from all the stakeholders viz. line departments Human Resource Development Department, Women and Child welfare Department, Department of Information and Public Relation, Rural Management and Development Department/PRI, Urban Development and Housing Development, Sports and Youth Affairs, Labour Department and NGOs in making the campaign a success.

Recognizing the importance of the role of the media in disseminating the correct information and benefits of MR vaccination, the health department, with support from partner organization, organized a media sensitization workshop at Gangtok on 23 Jul, 2019.