Jordan Daily – The Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccine, which is provided free of charge for targeted children in Jordan, is safe and effective at protecting children from deadly disease and outbreaks, said the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) who support the Ministry of Health’s national Immunization campaign.
According to a joint statement sent to Jordan Daily by WHO office in Amman , since the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of Measles vaccination coverage in Jordan has declined alarmingly, with approximately 112,000 children under five years of age (more than 6 out of 10 children in this age group) having missed their routine doses of measles-containing vaccine. The high number of unvaccinated individuals has already led to an outbreak of measles earlier in April 2023, when 163 measles cases were reported in seven governorates.
“Measles is a deadly and highly contagious disease, which is easily prevented through vaccination, but to create herd immunity and shield our communities, it is critical that we achieve a vaccination coverage of 95 per cent or higher of two doses of the vaccine,” said Dr Jamela Al-Raiby, WHO Representative to Jordan.
“Vaccines are one of humanity’s greatest and most remarkable success stories – eliminating diseases and saving countless children’s lives. Building back immunity in Jordan through routine immunization and catch-up campaigns will help protect children and prevent the public health system becoming overwhelmed with outbreaks,” said Philippe Duamelle, UNICEF Representative to Jordan.
The MR vaccine used is procured on the global market from the Serum Institute of India (SII). In 2022, SII accounted for approximately 236 million doses of MR vaccines shipped globally, representing around 80% of all MR vaccines used in the world. SII is one of only two companies prequalified by WHO to make and distribute this vaccine, 81 Member States are using SII MR vaccine across the world, as per the statement.
The WHO prequalification means that the vaccine meets global standards of quality, safety, and efficacy. WHO follows rigorous standards encompassing potency, thermostability, presentation, labelling and shipping conditions are met and maintained through regular re-evaluation, site inspection, targeted testing and investigation of any product complaints or adverse events following immunization.
WHO recommends using measles rubella vaccine for outbreak response immunization in measles or measles/rubella outbreaks for the countries that have rubella vaccine in the routine immunization programme.
Since 2021 UNICEF has procured over 436 million doses of measles-rubella vaccine benefitting 57 countries around the world.
To respond to this threat, the Ministry of Health, with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Children’s Fund (UNICEF), developed a comprehensive measles outbreak response plan, including a key component of supplemental immunization activities for the Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccine.
Both UN agencies reiterated their commitment to the Ministry of Health to support our shared goals to strengthen the primary healthcare system, provide health workers with the resources and support they need, and deliver lifesaving vaccines to children.