Supplemental immunization against measles and rubella continues in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan has begun a second round of supplemental immunization activities against measles and rubella, in response to an importation-related measles outbreak in 2013.
An initial campaign to supplement routine immunization, conducted during European Immunization Week in April 2013, targeted 27 083 children aged under 10 years, who received measles–mumps–rubella (MMR) vaccination. For the second round, the Ministry of Health has procured 200 000 doses of WHO-prequalified measles–rubella (MR) vaccine to cover 11–15-year-olds.
This campaign started on 14 October 2014 in the cities of Baku and Sumgait, and the districts of Absheron and Agjabadi, and is targeting 170 366 children and adolescents. Outreach vaccination has been organized in every school in coordination with the Ministry of Education. According to the Republican Centre for Hygiene and Epidemiology of Azerbaijan, 75 919 children and adolescents were vaccinated between 14 and 19 October (44.6% of the target group). In other cities and districts, selective MR vaccination will be provided at polyclinics for the same age group.
Led by WHO with participation of the Rostropovich–Vishnevskaya Foundation and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), independent monitoring has started and is carried out in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health immunization programme.
Elimination of measles from the WHO European Region by 2015
Available evidence indicates that both measles and rubella can be eliminated, but outbreaks in the past few years seriously threaten the achievement of the European Region’s goal of eliminating them by 2015. As countries work towards this goal, WHO/Europe is increasing technical support to them, in line with its package for accelerated action for measles and rubella elimination.