11L children in India missed 1st measles shot in '22: Report

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11L children in India missed 1st measles shot in '22: Report

  • According to a report by the World Health Organization and US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 11 lakh children in India missed their crucial first dose of the measles vaccine in 2022.
  • India ranks among the top 10 countries with the highest number of children not receiving the initial measles shot.
  • India is one of 37 countries experiencing large or disruptive measles outbreaks, reporting 40,967 cases in 2022.

Pandemic Impact on Immunization

  • Worldwide, measles immunization dropped to its lowest levels since 2008 during the pandemic.
  • This led to an 18% rise in cases and a 43% increase in deaths in 2022.
  • Gaps in immunization, particularly in peri-urban areas and clusters, left vulnerable populations susceptible to measles outbreaks.

Measles Vaccine Efficacy

  • Two doses of the measles vaccine offer 97% protection for life.
  • Single-dose protection is weaker, making vaccinated individuals susceptible to infection.
  • Globally, 33 million children missed either both doses or the second dose of the measles vaccine.

Measles Elimination Goal

  • India, along with other WHO South-East Asia Region countries, aimed for measles elimination by 2023.
  • Intensified Mission Indradhanush, launched to cover vaccination gaps, expanded coverage to children up to five years old to achieve the elimination goal.
  • The report evaluates measles surveillance sensitivity, with India performing well.

Challenges Faced by India

  • With the health machinery primarily focused on COVID-19, there was a decline in immunization coverage.
  • Measles cases surged in five states, prompting an outbreak response immunization drive, vaccinating 13 lakh children between November 2022 and May 2023.

Prelims Takeaway

  • Measles
  • Mission Indradhanush
  • World Health Organisation