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7.5 million lives saved in world MMR campaign
Fri, 30th March 2007
The World Health Organisation's MMR mass vaccination campaign saved an estimated 7.5 million lives during the six-year period it operated.
The worldwide campaign succeeded in reducing mortality due to measles by 60% - from an estimated 873,000 deaths in 1999 to 345,000 in 2005. The largest percentage reduction was recorded in the western Pacific region (81%), followed by Africa (75%), which achieved the largest total reduction, 72% of the global total (The Lancet 2007;369:191-200).
The success of the WHO's 2005 global measles mortality reduction goal has been hailed as evidence of what can be accomplished to improve health outcomes in Third World countries.
In Australia, endemic measles has been eradicated but vigilance is still needed against imported disease. Concern remains about poor coverage of the second dose of MMR vaccine and the susceptibility of young adults to imported measles.
Children should receive the second dose at 4 years of age (not at the start of school). Adults born during or since 1966 should have evidence of having received two doses of MMR. Those born between 1966 and 1980 are unlikely to have received two doses of measles containing vaccine and may remain non-immune.
MMR Decision Aid
This decision aid has been designed to help parents decide whether to immunise their child with the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. The site includes information on the diseases, frequently asked questions, compares risks and options and much more. Visit http://www.ncirs.usyd.edu.au/decisionaid/index.html.