MoH begins second phase of national measles campaign across governorates

Muscat - 

The second phase of the National Measles Immunisation Campaign (NMIC) targeting people in the age group of 20 to 35 years began in nine governorates on Sunday. Being conducted by the Ministry of Health (MoH) along with the other concerned authorities, the campaign will run until September 16.

Phase one of the campaign was conducted in May in the governorates of Dhofar and Al Wusta. The campaign officially commenced in the Governorate of Muscat in North Al Khuwayr Health Center under the auspices of H E Sayyid Saud bin Hilal al Busaidi, Minister of the State and the Governor of Muscat. H E Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Obaid al Saeedi, Minister of Health in addition to number of health officials, workers and media representatives too were present at the event.

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The campaign was launched in other governorates under the patronage of their respective governors and in the presence of MoH undersecretaries. Authorised public and private health institutions affiliated to MoH and other non-MoH institutions such as the military and security authorities, Diwan of Royal Court, the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, and a number of private sector health establishments administered vaccines to citizens and residents within the targeted age group. The vaccine The measles vaccine has been in use for over 50 years.

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It is safe, effective and inexpensive. It is often incorporated with rubella and mumps vaccines as MMR. Routine Measles vaccination is recommended to prevent measles disease and MMR doses are given at 12 months and 18 months of age to all children in Oman. One dose is injected to each adult in the arm. During the national campaign, the vaccine will be made available to citizens and residents for free at the governorates health institutions from 7.30am–9pm.

For those studying abroad, they should take the vaccine from the health centres before travelling or as soon as they return home. Patients with kidney failures and undergoing regular dialysis can safely take the vaccine. People suffering from temporary or chronic health issues related to platelets need to refer to a specialised physician to follow-up their condition and determine the appropriate time for taking the vaccine. One should donate blood before taking the vaccine or postpone it for 30 days after vaccination.

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Who can and not

The measles vaccine is not recommended (contraindicated) for persons with congenital immunodeficiency, HIV infection, leukaemia, lymphoma or generalised malignancy or who are currently receiving alkylating agents, antimetabolites, radiation or large doses of corticosteroids, in addition to pregnant women. Pregnant women should not take the vaccine and should receive it right after giving birth. It is safe to take the vaccine while breastfeeding. Women in the targeted age group should avoid conceiving for at least four weeks after getting the MMR vaccine. It is recommended to do pregnancy test before getting vaccinated.

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