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Tags Current Affairs

Measles unvaccinated children in India

Date: 09 December 2019 Tags: Reports & Indices


In 2018, measles caused an estimated 10 million cases and 1,42,000 deaths globally, according to a report. The estimated cases and deaths are much more than what countries have reported to the World Health Organization and UNICEF.



The WHO recommends 95% coverage using two doses of measles vaccine to prevent outbreaks. Though vaccine coverage with first and second dose has increased globally since 2000, it has not reached anywhere near 95%. 



  • Measles can be prevented through two doses of vaccination. But the number of children who are not vaccinated against measles is alarmingly high in six countries.

  • India has the second highest number of children who are not vaccinated against measles, the report says.

  • Nigeria has the most number of unvaccinated children. The other four countries with the most number of unvaccinated children are Pakistan, Ethiopia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

  • In 2017, 2.9 million children in India under one year of age had not been vaccinated with the first dose, according to UNICEF. In one year, the number of unvaccinated children in India had reduced from 2.9 million to 2.3 million. 

  • There were nearly 70,000 cases of measles in India in 2018, the third highest in the world. In 2019, over 29,000 confirmed cases have been reported to the WHO.

  • In India, the first dose of measles vaccine is given at nine-12 months of age and the second dose is given at 16-24 months of age through the national immunisation programme. But it appears that millions of children in India do not receive measles vaccine through routine immunisation activities.

  • Mass immunisation campaigns are an effective strategy for delivering vaccination to children who have otherwise been missed by routine services.

  • The first dose of measles vaccine was introduced as part of the national immunisation programme in the 1990s.

  • Based on the WHO’s recommendation to administer a second dose to prevent infection and death in 90-95% of vaccinated children. India was one of the last countries to add a second dose of measles vaccine as recommended by the WHO.

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