Mass Vaccination Campaign targets 134 Million Indian Children

In line with a World Health Organization (WHO) and UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) supported vaccination program, 134 million Indian children from over 14 different Indian states will be immunized against measles.

UN spokesperson, Farhan Haq, declared on Tuesday: "The highly contagious disease claims the lives of some 400 children every day, and in 2008, three out of four children who died of measles were from India". He further explains: "The campaign now under way in 14 high-risk Indian states aims to prevent up to 100,000 child deaths annually".

The vaccination round provides the children already with their second vaccination shot as they received the first dose of measles immunization last year. The mass vaccination campaign started two years ago according to the advice by Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE), a body of the WHO.

The primary targets of the vaccine shots are children between 9 months and 10 years, belonging to the highest risk group. UNICEF experts expect the vaccination campaign to safe approximately 60 000 up to 100
000 children's lives every year.

India's rate of child mortality that now lies at 69 death cases of children below 5 years out of every pile of 1,000 born children and improved significantly within the last two decades, is expected to further decrease after the mass vaccinations.