New measures plan to eliminate measles and rubella by 2020

New measures plan to eliminate measles and rubella by 2020

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Combating infectious diseases: vaccination campaign against measles and rubella

Measles and rubella are often dismissed as supposedly harmless childhood diseases, but both diseases can also be dangerous for adults. In Berlin, vaccination protection for the population is now to be improved. The capital's health senator presented an action plan to eliminate measles and rubella by 2020.

No harmless teething problems

Health experts never tire of pointing out that measles and rubella are by no means harmless childhood diseases. Both infectious diseases can also affect adults and can sometimes be life-threatening. Vaccinations are available against both diseases. Vaccination protection for the population is now to be improved in Berlin.

Voluntary instead of legal constraint

The Berlin Senate declares war on rubella and measles. On Tuesday, health senator Dilek Kolat (SPD) presented a plan that aims to eliminate the two diseases in the next two years.

“Measles and rubella are not harmless childhood diseases, but viral infections that can have serious health consequences. These diseases are preventable because there is an effective vaccination, ”said the senator in a message.

"One of our most important goals is therefore to increase the vaccination rate in the Berlin population," said Kolat.

In connection with the infectious disease, there is a lot of discussion about a possible measles vaccination in Germany. In Italy, such was recently introduced by law. The Berlin Senator for Health relies on voluntariness:

“Our concept lists a number of directly effective measures that we will tackle together with the health authorities, general practitioners and company doctors. In doing so, we rely on voluntary rather than legal constraints. "

Vaccinated at least 95 percent of the population

The disease has been on the decline since measles vaccination was introduced around 40 years ago, but measles eradication has been slowed down again.

Outbreaks occur again and again. Most recently there was a measles epidemic in Berlin from October 2014 to August 2015 with around 1,400 cases. A first death was reported in early 2015. An unvaccinated toddler died of the disease.

In 2017, 66 cases of measles were reported in Berlin by the end of November.

The disease is said to be eliminated when at least 95 percent of the population is vaccinated, the virus can no longer spread and there are fewer than one case per million inhabitants per year.

There would be three cases all over Berlin. According to the international definition, eradication occurs when the virus can no longer be detected worldwide. Only then would vaccinations become superfluous.

Measures tailored to target groups

The Berlin Measles and Rubella Elimination Plan (BEMREP) is the Berlin concept for implementing the "National Action Plan 2015-2020 for the Elimination of Measles and Rubella in Germany" at the state level.

It provides for various measures tailored to the target groups, such as:

The health authorities should offer vaccination advice and, if desired, vaccination at the same time as the school examinations.

Kindergartens must request proof of vaccination counseling when a child is admitted and, if necessary, send a report to the responsible health authority.

Thanks to a binding invitation and feedback system, the participation rate of children in the preventive check-ups (U1 to U9) could be increased significantly. This should now also be introduced for the protection of minors.

Company doctors also play an important role in young adults. They should also be informed and trained, such as resident doctors or other multipliers such as district mothers.

Since especially small cases of rubella are often not diagnosed, there should be more laboratory tests in this area. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Working to Eliminate Measles Around the Globe (July 2022).


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