Maharashtra health department will increase the pace of vaccination against measles across the state following directions by health minister Tanaji Sawant at a meeting of the state task force on prevention and control of the measles outbreak held recently. When contacted, Dr Subhash Salunkhe, chief of the state task force, told The Indian Express that the pace has to be expedited.
“Systems have to be geared up so that 95 per cent of children who have not received any vaccine dose or just one shot can be covered in the age group of nine months to five years in high-risk pocket areas,” Dr Salunkhe said.
“We have launched the vaccination campaign and highest priority has to be given to this activity. Non-health sectors in municipal corporations also need to be involved so that the programme can be expedited,” Dr Salunke said. Unless the municipal administration and chief members of the municipal council take up the campaign on a war footing, it may not be possible to reach the desired vaccination targets, he added.
So far, around 4.22 lakh children in the age group nine months to five years have been identified for giving additional dose of measles vaccination. Of these, 1.56 lakh were given additional doses. The first phase of the special vaccination campaign drive commenced on December 15. Overall, till December 18, a total of 4,894 immunisation sessions were organised in the state.
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Around 1,087 measles cases have been registered this year in the state and 20 deaths recorded. Of these, 490 are from Mumbai, 102 from Thane, 71 from Malegaon, 20 from Aurangabad, 11 from Pune and 15 from Pimpri-Chinchwad areas.