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Jakarta Post

Save our children’s souls

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, September 14 2018   /  01:50 am

By the end of this month, 95 percent of children should have received the measles-rubella (MR) vaccine in the second phase of the national immunization program. Alarmingly, national coverage for the 32 million infants has barely reached 43 percent according to the government’s latest figures. At least 95 percent coverage is required to achieve “herd immunity” against the diseases.

Because of the low coverage, authorities have warned us to brace for an outbreak, as anyone coming into contact with a carrier of measles will likely be infected, doctors say. They warn it could be fatal to those who have not received the vaccine, particularly with complications such as diarrhea, pneumonia and meningitis.

Similarly, rubella poses a risk to women in the early stages of pregnancy, as exposure can lead to fetal death or defects of several organs. In the last five years, 70 per...