The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has identified over 1.38 lakh children in the age group of six months to five years from measles-affected areas for the administration of the additional dose of the measles and rubella vaccine, as per the directive of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
There are around six lakh children in the age group of nine months to five years in Mumbai. Of these, the BMC has identified 1,34,833 children who would be given the extra dosage of MR vaccine in 33 health posts in the areas which have reported the highest number of measles cases.
Along with that, out of the 30,000 children aged between six and nine months, 3,496 would be vaccinated in the same affected wards where measles cases in the age group are above 10 per cent of the total cases.
So far, 12 wards have reported outbreaks and the M-East ward, which covers Govandi, tops the chart with 71 measles cases,
“Mostly, we would start the vaccination for the special dose Monday. The centres for the vaccination are in the process of identification,” said an official from the BMC.
Amid an increase in the number of measles cases, the Union health ministry on November 23 asked states and Union territories to administer one additional dose of MR vaccines to all children, aged 9 months to 5 years, in vulnerable areas.
The directions came after a meeting of domain knowledge technical experts held under the chairpersonship of member (health), NlTl Aayog, to review the situation.
“Administering one additional dose of Measles and Rubella Containing Vaccines (MRCVs) to all children aged 9 months to 5 years in vulnerable areas (geographies which are showing recent increase in numbers of measles cases) should be identified by the state government/UT administration in ‘Outbreak Response immunisation (ORl)’ mode,” said the order issued by the ministry.
The ministry also instructed states and UTs to administer one dose of MRCVs to all children aged 6 months to 9 months in those areas where measles cases in the age group are above 10 per cent of the total cases.
In the city, a total of 52 outbreaks of measles have been reported this year so far. As of November 26, 292 confirmed cases of measles have been identified in Mumbai, with 13 deaths — eight confirmed. On Wednesday, 43 new admissions in hospitals were reported but no deaths for the second consecutive day.