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Health Ministry Denies Reports Of 11 Lakh Indian Children Missing Measles Vaccine, Calls Them Inaccurate

There have been some media reports alleging that an estimated 11 lakh children in India missed their first measles vaccine dose in 2022, according to a report published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Measles vaccine
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Media reports claiming that an estimated 11 lakh children in India missed their first measles vaccine dose in 2022 are "ill-informed and inaccurate," the Union Ministry of Health Family Welfare said on Saturday.

There have been some media reports alleging that an estimated 11 lakh children in India missed their first measles vaccine dose in 2022, according to a report published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

"These reports are not based on facts and do not reflect the true picture. These reports are based on the estimated number reported under WHO UNICEF Estimates National Immunisation Coverage (WUENIC) 2022 report which covers the time-period from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022. 

"However, as per the HMIS (Health Management Information System) of the Union Ministry of Health, a total of 2,63,63,270 children out of the eligible 2,63,84,580 children received their 1st dose of Measles Containing Vaccine (MCV) in the FY 2022-23 (April 2022 to March 2023) and only 21,310 children missed their 1st dose of Measles Containing Vaccine (MCV) in 2022-23," the ministry said in a statement.

Besides this, several initiatives have been undertaken by the government in coordination with the states to ensure that all children, either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated receive all missed or due doses of MCV.

The catch-up vaccination age for the administration of MCV has been increased from two years to five years in the periodic immunisation intensification activities.

Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 3.0 and 4.0 were carried out in 2021 and 2022 to vaccinate all unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children with missed or due doses of vaccines. Besides this, IMI 5.0 was carried out in 2023 with a special focus to increase the coverage of MR vaccine in children up to the age of five years.

The MR campaign was carried out in Delhi and West Bengal wherein all children in the age group of nine months to 15 years (nine months to five years in Delhi) were vaccinated with campaign dose of MR vaccine.

Several states have carried out Supplementary Immunisation activities and outbreak response immunisation, wherein a total of 30 million children have been vaccinated with an additional dose of MR vaccine.

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