Vaccination drive against measles, rubella begins today

Published November 15, 2021
The country’s largest immunisation campaign will start from Monday (today) during which more than 90 million children will be vaccinated against measles and rubella. — Reuters
The country’s largest immunisation campaign will start from Monday (today) during which more than 90 million children will be vaccinated against measles and rubella. — Reuters

ISLAMABAD: As the country’s largest immunisation campaign will start from Monday (today) during which more than 90 million children will be vaccinated against measles and rubella, the National Command and Operation Centre on Sunday decided to suspend Covid-19 vaccination for children aged between 12 and 15 years for two weeks.

The NCOC included 11 cities in Covid-19 excellent vaccination progress list, 17 cities in good vaccination progress and the remaining cities in low vaccination progress list.

“National MR campaign will be conducted from 15-27 November 2021 during which children aged 9 months to 15 years will be inoculated. The Covid-19 vaccine administration for children between 12-15 years will, therefore, remain suspended from 15-27 November 2021,” the NCOC tweeted.

Meanwhile, member of Scientific Task Force on Covid-19 Prof Dr Javed Akram told Dawn that there was no study which suggested that Covid-19 and measles vaccines should not be given simultaneously.

NCOC decides to suspend Covid-19 vaccination for children for two weeks

“The decision has been taken because of the issue of logistics and to avoid vaccine hesitancy. As fever, pain in arm and other minor symptoms are similar in most of the vaccines, health authorities preferred not to administer two vaccines at the same time. After the vaccination around 5pc people have complained of fever, so it is an understandable step to suspend the Covid-19 vaccination for those who will be immunised against measles and rubella,” he said.

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan said that more than 90 million children would be vaccinated against measles and rubella diseases across the country.

“More than 386,000 health professionals and more than 143,000 social mobilisers have been mobilised for the two-week campaign supported by Gavi, the vaccine alliance, Unicef, WHO and partners. The campaign targets children aged between nine months and 15 years and those aged up to five will receive oral polio vaccine,” he added.

Meanwhile, the NCOC on Sunday reviewed the Covid-19 situation in the country and full vaccination status of different cities. To encourage and incentivise cities with excellent vaccination progress, the forum decided to continue relaxations in non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs)/return to normal life from November 16 to 30 and a review would be carried out at the NCOC on November 29.

The NCOC data showed that 11 people died of Covid-19 and 263 people were infected with the virus over the past 24 hours. The number of active cases was 22,855, of which 1,157 patients were hospitalised.

Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2021

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