India begins campaign give 134 million children measles vaccine

The Indian health ministry, in conjunction with the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization, recently launched the second round of measles vaccinations aimed at protecting 134 million children from the illness.

In November 2010, the “Measles Catch-Up” campaign to vaccinate children began in 14 high-risk Indian states. The campaign was meant to halt an estimated 60,000 to 100,000 measles deaths annually. The second round of doses is currently being administered at outreach centers across the county, according to

Children who missed the first scheduled dose are being encouraged to receive it during this part of the campaign.

“Measles is among the world’s most contagious diseases and one of the leading causes of death among children,” Anuradha Gupta, the joint secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said, reports.

Three out of every four children that died from the measles in 2008 were from India. It is believed that up to 400 children die every day from the disease.

“In November 2008, the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization, the principal advisory body to the (WHO), recommended that all children should receive two doses of measles vaccination,” the WHO's Dr. Steven Sosler said, according to