Laos introduced the Measles Rubella second dose to protect children aged 12 to 18 months

The Ministry of Health with support from WHO, UNICEF and development partners have introduced the second dose of Measles-Rubella vaccine(MR2) into the routine immunization service.

This is in line with the Global Measles and Rubella Strategic Plan (2012-2020) and the draft Regional Strategy and Plan of Action for Measles and Rubella Elimination in the Western Pacific aiming to achieve and sustain the elimination of measles and rubella in all countries and areas of the Region.

Lao PDR has made important strides in reducing measles cases, the number of confirmed measles cases decreased from 112 in 2014 to 8 in 2016 and only 3 so far in 2017. At present, the first dose of MR vaccine is given to children aged 9 to 11 months. MR2 will be given to children aged 12 to 18 months. MR2 will be an opportunity to check every single child has received all the required vaccines and provide the missed vaccines, in order to reach target coverage of 95%.

The Orientation Meeting on MR2 Introduction was chaired by Dr Bounkong Syhavong, Health Minister and the Representatives from WHO and UNICEF

Dr Bounkong Syhavong stressed the need to strengthen routine immunization with the MR second dose, to check that every child has received the required vaccines