70 city schools continue to refuse measles rubella vaccine
Mumbai: Around 70 schools in the city continue to refuse the measles rubella vaccination even as the campaign comes to close in a fortnight. BMC officials said that in the last 45 days since the programme kicked off in Mumbai, along with the rest of the state, only 50% of the targeted children could be vaccinated.
The civic body had planned to vaccinate nearly 29 lakh children but has managed to inoculate only 15.21 lakh. Most of the vaccinations have happened in schools. “Among beneficiaries in schools, we have managed to cover 74%,” said Dr Chandrashekhar Chiplunkar, assistant health officer, adding that the aim was to vaccinate 20.31 lakh children from over 4,000 Mumbai schools. The rest of the children between 9 months to 15 years were targeted through community interventions in the second phase of the campaign. “We may not have received a lot of support from the community, but it was not too bad either,” he said. Wards with a higher Muslim population have seen a lower coverage in city as well as Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
Schools that had a near100% coverage said they had to hold sessions to speak to the parents ahead of the drive. “We gave out information to the parents and if they had further queries, we held a session for them with doctors for clarification. After that, we had almost a 100% attendance,” said Father Francis Swamy, joint secretary, Archdiocesan Board of Education. Most of the affiliated schools have participated in the drive.
Across the state, over 2 crore children have been vaccinated. State officials said that the campaign has been intensified to cover more children in the coming few weeks. While the state has registered several cases of adverse effects, most were not found to have any direct connection with the vaccine.