Received: February 07, 2020 Accepted: February 10, 2020 Published: February 10, 2020
Globally, in 2015, measles killed an estimated 1,34,200 children- mostly under-5 years of age and an estimated 49,200 deaths occurred due to measles in India. Most of these children were the ones who have not received two doses of measles vaccine. This is despite the fact that the Government of India is providing vaccines free of cost under the Universal Immunization Programme. Even today some of the children in the country are not protected against the deadly life threatening diseases. In 2010, an estimated 1,03,000 children were born with CRS globally, of which nearly 47,000, i.e. 46% were in South-East Asia Region. An estimated 30,000 children are born with congenital rubella syndrome in India. The MR campaign has been successfully conducted in many countries including our neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar etc and western countries in Region of the Americas. India is fully committed to the goal of elimination of measles and rubella and to achieve this goal, Government of India has recently launched MR vaccination campaign which will target children of 9 months to less than 15 years of age. This is an ambitious goal, since measles control requires the highest immunization coverage of any vaccine preventable disease, which means that the health system must be able to reach every community. Measles harms not only the individual but also the community. Persons with measles can transmit infection to the children who are too young to be vaccinated yet are still susceptible. Therefore, it is important that all the children of target age group are vaccinated under the MR campaign irrespective of any previous vaccination for MR or MMR vaccine. The country has been able to win the battle against polio because children were vaccinated not only through routine immunization but also through the campaigns. Similarly, MR campaign is being conducted but will target wider age group of children so that older individuals who have not been vaccinated against measles and rubella can also get this vaccine. The aim of this campaign is not to protect one individual but the whole community from measles and rubella which will eventually help us in eliminating measles and rubella from the country. As such, campaigns are a proven strategy for increasing vaccination equity. Campaigns also have the effect of rapidly increasing population immunity by reducing the number of susceptible individuals in the population, which can result in protective “herd” immunity.