1.5 lakh children to get extra dose of measles vaccine from today | Mumbai news

    Mumbai: The state will kick off a drive to administer measles vaccines to children in vulnerable areas, over and above the shots recommended in the universal immunisation programme, from Thursday. Over 1.5 lakh children have been identified as eligible for the vaccination drive in the city.

    According to the schedule, the first dose of the vaccine is administered to children between the age of 9 months and 12 months, while the second dose is administered between 16 months and 24 months. However, considering the high prevalence of the viral infection in the state and city, the government on November 25 decided to administer extra doses to arrest the further spread of the disease.

    Accordingly, an extra dose will be administered to all children between the age of 9 months and 5 years, living in areas that reported a measles outbreak, irrespective of their vaccination status. Additionally, children between 6 months and 9 months of age will also be given the vaccine to protect them from the highly contagious infection.

    In Mumbai, the civic authorities have identified 1,55,131 eligible children from the first age group and 3,569 from the second.

    “We have 13.53 lakh doses, which is sufficient for carrying out the drive. We have also ensured that there is enough stock of vaccines at the corporation, district and division levels,” said Dr Pradeep Awate, surveillance officer of the state’s health department. He added that over 15,000 children in the vulnerable areas have received the vaccine since the beginning of the epidemic.

    There have been 15 deaths from measles in the city hospitals since October 26, with three of the children belonging to nearby towns in the metropolitan region. A detailed death audit of these cases is underway, as per the state health officials. “As many as 14 of the 15 deaths were of children, who were unvaccinated. Many of them were malnourished and some even had comorbidities like heart diseases,” said Dr Awate.

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