Frequently Asked Questions

About Measles Rubella (MR) vaccination campaign in India

Why is the Measles Rubella (MR) vaccination campaign being conducted?

  • The vaccination campaign is being held to protect children against measles and rubella which are highly contagious viral diseases. While measles kills nearly 49,000 children in the country every year, rubella causes irreversible birth defects.
  • There is no treatment for measles and rubella, but both diseases can be prevented by vaccination.
  • By vaccinating all children in the age group of 9 months to 15 years, India aims to eliminate both measles and rubella.

Who should get MR vaccine during the campaign?

  • All children in the age group of 9 months to 15 years, even if they have received Measles/MR/MMR vaccine under routine immunization at government health facility or at a private clinic.

Where is MR vaccination campaign taking place?

  • Schools: Initial weeks of campaign
  • Health sub-centres, anganwadi centres, fixed outreach sessions and mobile/special posts in villages and urban areas: Next 1-2 weeks of campaign
  • Government health facilities will also provide MR vaccine

Child has already received measles and rubella vaccines in routine immunization. Will the additional dose in MR campaign vaccine be harmful?

  • The additional dose will provide additional protection against measles and rubella. It will benefit the child. It will not harm the child in any way.

Is MR vaccine safe, especially the one being used in the MR campaign?

  • MR vaccine is highly safe and effective and is being used in 150 countries across the world.
  • MR vaccine being used in the campaign, is the same that the child receives during routine immunization sessions in health facilities.
  • So far more than 22 crore children in India have been safely vaccinated in MR campaigns already completed in 30 states/UT across the country (as on 7 January 2019)

Are there any side effects of MR vaccine? School authorities have said they are not responsible if anything happens to the child after taking MR vaccine.

  • Like with any other injectable vaccine, there could be a transient mild pain and redness at the injection site, low-grade fever, rash and muscle ache. However, all immunization sessions – whether in schools or outreach – are linked to health centres that have fully trained health staff.
  • Following the injection children can comfortably continue their studies or sporting activities

My child has mild fever, should he/she receive MR vaccine during campaign?

  • Children with minor illnesses such as mild respiratory infection, diarrhea, and low grade fever can take MR campaign vaccine.
  • All children who have completed 9 months of age and are up to 15 years of age should be administered MR vaccine during the campaign.

My child missed the MR campaign vaccine dose in school. What should I do now?

  • The child can get MR vaccine at government health facilities and select private facilities.

My child is due for MR vaccine under RI very soon. After taking the campaign vaccine, should he / she still take the scheduled RI dose?

  • Yes, the campaign doses are additional to routine doses, your child should continue with routine vaccination as per schedule at 9-12 months and 16-24 months of age.

If rubella vaccine is aimed at preventing birth defects, why are boys being vaccinated?

  • Both girls and boys are at an equal risk of getting infected as well as transmitting the rubella virus, if not already protected against the disease. Therefore, both boys and girls need to take MR vaccine in routine immunization as well as during MR vaccination campaign.

Who should not be vaccinated?

  • Do not vaccinate if the child has high fever or any serious disease or is hospitalized or has history of a severe allergic reaction to measles/rubella vaccine in the past.
  • Known immuno-compromised child or child on immunosuppressant drugs or on high dose steroids should be cleared by treating physician for vaccination.

Are Measles and Rubella vaccines used globally?

  • The measles and rubella vaccines are in use globally and for several decades. The American Region has eliminated measles and rubella by vaccinating children with measles and rubella vaccines.

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