The Jakarta Post
The government has kicked off a measles-rubella (MR) vaccination campaign on Aug. 1 with an aim to eliminate the two infectious viral diseases by 2020.
More than 34 million children aged 9 months to 15 years are targeted to receive the MR vaccine injections in two phases. In the first phase, the immunization program will be delivered to children across Java in August and September, while those who live outside Java will be vaccinated in August-September 2018.
Health Minister Nila F. Moeloek said the improvement from delivering only measles vaccines to providing MR vaccines could hopefully contain outbreaks of the two diseases, which infected mostly children and caused the death of one child every four minutes in countries around the world.
“The MR immunization program is expected to reach 95 percent of all Indonesian children; thus, we can eliminate measles outbreaks and control rubella infections by 2020,” Nila said on Tuesday.
The minister went on to say that the MR vaccine would also protect children from congenital defects caused by the rubella virus, such as hearing problems, visual impairment, cardiac abnormalities and intellectual disabilities.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo launched the national MR vaccine campaign at an event hosted on Tuesday by the Madrasah Tsanawiyah Negeri 10 Islamic junior high school in Sleman regency, Yogyakarta. (ebf)