The measles task force in Maharashtra has instructed all the municipal bodies to speed up their vaccination drives to ensure that over 90% children are inoculated before March. The revved up strategy was discussed at a meeting held on Friday.
As per available data, there have been 199 outbreaks across the state, with 76 in Mumbai alone, since October 2022. During these outbreaks, 22,421 suspected cases and 1,679 confirmed cases were reported.
In Mumbai, eight children have died due to the disease, even as 554 others got infected. The Free Press Journal recently reported that the L-Ward (Kurla) has surpassed Govandi (M-East ward; where the first outbreak occurred) in the number of cases.
As per recent data, Kurla has witnessed 14 outbreaks, followed by seven each in Govandi and P-N Ward (Malad-West).
‘Outbreak Immunisation Response’
A senior task force member said they are driving the ‘outbreak immunisation response’ for children who have missed their vaccination because they do not want a 2022 repeat.
The official said, “Directions have been given to all medical and district health officers to check on vaccination percentage in their respective districts. The target of 95% vaccination should be achieved to avoid an outbreak in February and March,” he said.
One key problem that frontline workers are facing is vaccine hesitancy. An official said, “A few wards need special attention. The health authorities and municipal commissioners concerned have been provided with technical inputs and guidelines.”
Currently, 51.01% (1,33,843) eligible children aged between nine months and five years and 57.85% (3,062) children aged six to nine months have been administered the vaccine. The drive started on Dec 24 and 110 children from construction sites and 133 children from nomadic sites have also been administered required doses.