By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, January 29, 2018: Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday flagged off a two-month long Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccination campaign that will cover around 1.13 crore children in the state.

The MR vaccine is being introduced in the state for the first time in the immunisation programme.

The drive will continue till March 26 and will cover children between the ages of nine months and 15 years, state health minister Pratap Jena said.

After the vaccination campaign, MR vaccine will replace Measles Vaccine in the Routine Immunisation programme.

During the initial two weeks of the campaign, vaccination will be done in all schools. The next two weeks will see vaccination at the community level and the last week will be devoted to mop up activities in low coverage areas, both in schools and the community, said a health official.

For its successful implementation, the health, education, scheduled tribe, scheduled caste development, panchayati raj and housing and urban development departments are working together.

“All districts are in readiness for implementation of the campaign and IEC activities have been conducted throughout the state for generating community awareness,” said the official.

Measles and Rubella are two viral diseases which are among the major causes of morbidity and mortality in children. Measles is a serious illness affecting children below 15 years of age.

Without proper management, it can lead to complications and even death. Measles vaccination is presently given under the immunisation programme, the official added.

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