Government set to launch massive Measles and Rubella vaccination campaign

Government set to launch massive Measles and Rubella vaccination campaign

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IRC staff members administer measles vaccinations during a prevention campaign. PHOTO:COURTESY.

Nairobi, KENYA: The ministry of health is set to launch a massive measles and Rubella vaccination campaign trail targeting 19 million children across the country .

In a media briefing in Nairobi Health PS Dr. Nicholas Muraguri said  the vaccination targets children between 9 months and 14 years and the vaccine exercise will take place between 16th and 24th May 2016 in all 47 counties.

Dr Muraguri said that the government has decided to take a such an initiative following the fact that the measles vaccine has a total efficacy level of 80 % and is highly infectious.

“We therefore need to minimize chances of nationwide epidemic by increasing demand for second chance dose bid to ensure that at least 95 % of Kenyans are immune to the disease.”Dr Muraguri said.

The vaccination will intertwine measles and rubella vaccines after it was reported that Rubella cases in the country are on the rise and has devastating birth effects to children .

The campaign also will involve women between the age of 19 and 49 years ,who will be vaccinated against Tetanus in some counties, which include Mombasa ,Kilifi ,Samburu ,Mandera ,Wajir ,Meru, West Pokot , Narok among others .

“We shall also be targeting women of reproductive age with the Tetanus vaccine to protect future newborns in 11 highest risk counties in Kenya.” Dr Muraguri said

He reiterated that vaccines are safe because it has been tested and it is being used elsewhere across the world.

On the other hand, the head of vaccine division in the Ministry of Health Collins Tabu disputed a notion in the society that tetanus vaccination directed to women is meant to execute family planning clandestinely.

“That myth is not true, we are targeting these women whom are in the stage of giving birth ,this is done to avert probability of deaths associated with tetanus among children when these women give birth, ”Tabu said.

42,000 health workers will be deployed across the country to man 20,000 vaccination centres.