Fifteen-month-old babies will begin receiving a second dose of the vaccine against Measles and Rubella this January, 2020.
Most of these infants were administered the first dose of the vaccine against Measles and Rubella in December, 2019.
All infants who miss this second dose of this vaccine to be administered in January 2020 will have a catch up vaccine in mid July 2020.
The National Vaccination calendar has been modified to include children from 0-23 months replacing the previous which was designed for children from 0-11 months .
Officials of the National Expanded Program on Immunization EPI, partners from other Ministries and other stakeholders held a meeting on January 21, 2019 to discuss how to effectively reach out to the public with the innovation .
The meeting was chaired by the Director of the Family at the Ministry of Public Health, Professor Robinson Mbu.
Why A Second Dose For Measles and Rubella ?
According to Dr. Mbu Robinson a single dose of the vaccine against Measles and Rubella has proven not to be effective over the years.
It was discovered that some parents do not take the children for vaccination on time, while others completely stay away .
This has led to an increasing number of new infections from both diseases, recorded yearly.
Officials of the Ministry of Public Health say the introduction of the second dose of vaccine against both diseases will greatly reduce the number of children at risk of being infected .
It is also expected to improve on coverage for routine immunization.
Measles And Rubella : Cameroon’s figures
Measles and Rubella are two highly contagious diseases causing high rates of deaths among children annually.
In 2016, the number of health districts in Cameroon involved in managing Measles epidemic rose from 7 to 34.
But thanks to vaccination, the number of Measles-related deaths dropped from 5208 to 146, representing a 97% reduction between 2000-2017 .
With the modification of the calendar, officials are targeting an increase in vaccine effectiveness from 85% to 95% .
A complete eradication of Measles and Rubella in Cameroon is set for the next ten years.
Kathy Neba Sina