Immunizing children against measles and rubella

WHO Western Pacific Region, in 2003, aimed to eliminate measles and strengthen other public health programs. In 2005, it sets 2012 as the target date for eliminating measles. In 2010, it reaffirmed the measles elimination target by 2012. Some countries in the Western Pacific, including the Philippines, still encounter laboratory-confirmed measles cases, thus, interrupting remaining measles transmission is still a priority for 2012-2013.

Children immunized with measles and rubella.

To be able to achieve this target, a 95% population immunity level must be reached to interrupt transmission of measles, and eliminate the the endemic measles virus (genotype D9) in the country.

Every child should receive at least 2 doses of measles-containing vaccine. Every child should be vaccinated against measles in the first year of life. However, not every child is reached by routine immunization services. Since the measles vaccine is slightly less effective when given before the age of 12 months, a group of children susceptible to measles builds up. When enough susceptible children accumulate, an outbreak will occur.