70 city schools con­tinue to refuse measles rubella vac­cine

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY -

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.

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