Armenia: Mass Vaccination Campaign Against Measles, Rubella

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Measles, Rubella

In a massive vaccine campaign being launched in Armenia, around 1 million children and adults will be vaccinated against measles and rubella during the first two weeks of October.

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The main goal of the mass vaccination campaign is to reach pockets of children and adults aged 6-27 years who are susceptible to measles and rubella, and to stop further transmission of these diseases in Armenia. The campaign is a key part of Armenia's strategy to eliminate measles and rubella; thereby it constitutes an important component of an overall plan to eliminate measles and rubella and prevent congenital rubella infection in the WHO European Region by 2010.

During the vaccination campaign, people will come to local clinics to be vaccinated, while outreach teams will visit schools, universities and geographically hard-to-reach villages to reach the maximum number of people. More than 2 200 vaccination posts have been equipped for the campaign, and 4 150 health workers and volunteers have been mobilized. Around 1 000 outreach and mobile teams are traveling across the country to find those who have never been immunized.

The Armenian Ministry of Health leads the campaign and is responsible for its planning, implementation and monitoring. WHO and UNICEF provide technical and financial support - with funding from the United Nations Foundation/International Finance Facility for Immunization. Further financial support is provided by the Vishnevskaya-Rostropovich Foundation and the Ani and Narod Memorial Fund.

A long range of countries in the WHO European Region - both western and eastern - have undertaken measles and rubella mass vaccination campaigns as part of the goal to eliminate these diseases in the Region. During these campaigns, nearly 15 million people who had not been reached by routine immunization have been immunized. Vaccination campaigns to reach another 20 million persons are scheduled for this year and next in Georgia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

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