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Government arranges MMR vaccines for 200,000: Health Minister

Ali Shareef
15 January 2020, MVT 09:16
Health Minister Abdulla Ameen at the press briefing regarding measles outbreak. Photo: Hussain Waheed/Mihaaru News
Ali Shareef
15 January 2020, MVT 09:16

Ministry of Health on Tuesday, announced the arrangements to secure the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines for 200,000 people have been made.

At a news conference held at the health ministry, Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen said that the government possesses sufficient measles vaccines to control the outbreak, noting that efforts were underway to mitigate the spread of the disease.

He stated that the government is currently vaccinating frontline staff at health facilities that deal directly with patients.

"Relevant authorities are in discussion with international partners and arrangements have been made to secure enough vaccines for 200,000 people" minister revealed, adding that the vaccines are to be received within ten days time.

Even if the outbreak is controlled, the minister went on to say that the measles vaccination program will run for the next three months.

"We will continue to run the [measles vaccine] program for the next three months. We want to make it absolutely certain that everyone is vaccinated", stated the minister.

While Maldives was declared measles free by the World Health Organization (WHO) in April 2017, the Health Protection Agency, on January 11, confirmed that a 3-year-old child was tested positive for measles.

Two days later on January 13, the health ministry confirmed that a second case, that of a 30-year old man, had surfaced. On Tuesday, the health agency reported a third case.

In response, the government initiated a vaccination campaign against the outbreak, specifically targeting unvaccinated individuals and those who did not receive the second dose of the vaccine and also to include awareness programmes catering to expatriates residing in the country.

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