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Measles outbreak: Vaccine for additional vaccinations delivered to Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan received 755,500 doses of rubella-measles vaccine from the Measles and Rubella Initiative. The Ministry of Health reported.

The vaccine will be used to vaccinate children aged from nine months to seven years old inclusive as part of the outbreak’s immunization campaign.

The children will be vaccinated at temporary vaccination points that will be created in healthcare organizations and educational institutions.

«To reduce the circulation of the measles virus, contain the outbreak and prevent its further spread, the Ministry of Health, with the support of WHO and UNICEF, prepared an emergency country application to the Outbreak Response Fund established as part of the Measles and Rubella Initiative,» the Ministry of Health said.

The additional immunization campaign against measles and rubella will begin on September 18 in Bishkek, Osh, Chui and Osh regions and will last until September 29.

 As part of the campaign against measles and rubella, more than 750 temporary vaccination points will operate at the Family Medicine Centers, Family Doctor Groups, medical and obstetric centers, as well as in educational institutions. In addition, medical workers will conduct on-site vaccinations for children living in hard-to-reach settlements. In total, 60 mobile teams are planned to be involved in the campaign.

«Routine and «catch-up» immunization against measles will be carried out in health care organizations in other regions to prevent the circulation of the measles virus among children aged 12 months and six years using the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine,» the ministry noted.

During the campaign, specialists from health care organizations, together with representatives of local government bodies and with the involvement of regional media, will hold conversations about the importance of vaccination against measles and rubella with parents of children included in the target group, heads of preschool and school education institutions.

Since the beginning of the year, 1,982 people have been infected with measles, of whom 147 adults and 1,835 children (1,454 of them are from zero to four years old). Most of the cases were registered in Osh region (635 people), Bishkek (485), Osh city (296). Less cases were registered in Chui (214 people), Jalal-Abad (116), Batken (92), Talas (77), Issyk-Kul (60) and Naryn (7) regions.

Measles is a dangerous and highly contagious viral disease for which there is no cure, and complications of the disease can be fatal. Children and adults who have not been vaccinated are at risk. Only vaccination can protect against the disease.

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