National Measles Immunization Campaign Phase 2 Launched Today
National Measles Immunization Campaign Phase 2 Launched Today10/9/2017
The Sultanate launched today Sunday the second phase of the National Measles Immunization Campaign (NMIC) that targets people in the age group of (20 – 35). The second phase of the campaign is carried out by Ministry of Health (MOH) along with the other concerned authorities, is run until 16 of September, and covered all the Governorates except the governorates of Dhofar and Al-Wusta for which phase one of the drive was conducted last May.
The launching of the second phase of the National Campaign, officially commenced in the Governorate of Muscat, North Al Khuwair Health Center under the auspices of H.E. Sayyid Saud bin Hilal Al Busaidi, Minister of the State and the Governor of Muscat, with the presence of H.E. Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Al Saidi, Minister of Health in addition to number of health officials and worker as well as representatives from the different media mass.
Relevantly, the campaign was launched as well today in the rest of the targeted governorates under the patronage of the respective Governors with the attendance of MOH Undersecretaries.
Accordingly, authorized public and private health institutions affiliated with the MOH and other non-MOH institutions such as the military and security authorities, Diwan of Royal Court and the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, in addition to number of private sector health establishments have started receiving citizens and residents within the targeted age group to be given the free-measles vaccine.
Mass Measles vaccination campaign is one of the most effective tool for vaccinating any individuals susceptible for Measles. Once susceptibles are vaccinated, chains of transmission of Measles disease is expected to be interrupted and therefore cases are expected to reduce.
Measles virus is highly contagious and it spreads by an infected person from 4 days prior to the onset of the rash to 4 days after the rash erupts via coughing and sneezing, close personal contact or direct contact with infected nasal or throat secretions. The virus remains active and contagious in the air or on infected surfaces for up to 2 hours.
Unvaccinated young children are at the highest risk for measles and its complications, in addition to unvaccinated pregnant women and any person who is not immune to measles. Person suffering from Measles develops fever, runny nose, sore throat, and cough; in addition, a widespread skin rash is a classic sign of measles.
Measles can lead to life-threatening complications, such as pneumonia and inflammation of the brain (encephalitis); Other complications associated with measles may include ear infection, Bronchitis, miscarriage or preterm labor, and severe diarrhea.
The measles vaccine has been in use for over 50 years. It is safe, effective and inexpensive. It is often incorporated with rubella and mumps vaccines as (MMR). Routine Measles vaccination is recommended to prevent measles disease, MMR doses are given at 12 months and 18 months of age to all children in Oman. In the Immunization campaigns, one dose is given for each adult via under skin injection in the arm.
During the national campaign, the vaccine will be made available free for citizens and residents at the governorates’ health institutions from 7:30 am – 9:00 pm. Moreover, each governorates will set vaccination sites as announced. As for those studying abroad, they should take the vaccine from the health centers before travelling or as soon as they retune home. Patients with kidney failures undergoing regular dialysis can safely take the vaccine.
People suffering from temporary or chronic health issues related to platelets need to refer to a specialized physician to follow up their condition and determine the appropriate time for taking the vaccine. Those who are wishing to donate blood should donate before taking the vaccine or postponed it for 30 days after vaccination.
The Measles vaccine is not recommended (contraindicated) for persons with congenital immunodeficiency, HIV infection, leukemia, lymphoma or generalized malignancy or who are currently receiving alkylating agents, antimetabolites, radiation or large doses of corticosteroids, in addition to pregnant women.
Furthermore, pregnant women should not take the measles vaccine and should receive it right after giving birth. It safe to take the vaccine while breastfeeding. Women of the targeted age group should avoid conceiving for at least 4 weeks after having MMR vaccination. It is recommended to do pregnancy test before getting vaccinated.
There is no evidence of what is being circulated that the MMR vaccine causes infertility or labor problems. On the contrary, the vaccine protects as well from mumps disease which one of its complications is infertility.
Ensuring the safety and health of community individuals, the MOH calls upon all citizens and residents in the age group of 20-35 (born between 1982 to 1997) to head to the nearest vaccination site in order to get vaccinated, free of cost, as per scheduled dates.
The Ministry further calls upon all to take the information from the MOH reliable sources or the MOH’s contact center and paying no attention to rumors.