Parents confused about MR vaccinationStaff Correspondent
The ongoing measles-rubella vaccination campaign has created confusion among the parents whether the vaccine administered was needed for the children who had taken regular dose and also the second booster dose of the anti-measles vaccine.
Experts said that taking the vaccine during the campaign was not necessary for the children who had already taken the regular dose and also the second or booster dose.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University pro-vice chancellor professor Mohammad Shahidullah, also Bangladesh Paediatric Association secretary general, told New Age, a third dose was not necessary for any child or in any cases of disease.
Expanded Programme for Immunisation assistant director Tajul Islam A Bari shared the view saying that it was not necessary for the children to take a third dose if they had already taken two.
Dhaka Community Hospital chairman Professor Quazi Kamruzzaman wondered why the authorities were trying to administer the vaccine to all the children between the ages of nine months and under 15 years, if it was not necessary.
‘Before launching the campaign it should have made it clear who need the vaccines and who do not,’ he said.
‘Regular vaccination could ensure 85 per cent prevention of diseases like measles-rubella’, Tajul said.
In medicine, a booster dose is an extra dose of a vaccine. After initial immunisation, a booster dose is given to children to increase immunity, he said.
In Bangladesh a child usually takes six doses of vaccines against six childhood diseases, including measles, in between 1.5 month and 12 months under the Expanded Programme for Immunisation.
After taking regular doses for two or three years, a child could take the second or booster dose against the diseases, including measles, said health ministry officials.
After complete immunisation against diseases like measles-rubella, the special vaccines or booster doses should be taken beside regular EPI vaccination, the director of primary healthcare at DGHS, Abu Zafar Md Musa, said.
He also told New Age that it had no such side-effects which might harm the children.
Quazi Kamruzzaman said that he was not sure if it had any side-effects.
‘All vaccines, just like other medicines, have some side-effects if it is taken by anyone more than needed,’ he said.
Guardians, however, said that they were still uncertain about the necessity of the MR vaccination campaign.
‘I do not know if the vaccination programme is good for the health of our children. My child already has taken the measles vaccine twice – first time when she was about nine months old and at the age of six,’ Rahmat Ali, a guardian of Kalyanpur area of the capital, told New Age.
Rasheda Akhter, mother of three children, who lives in Feni, said that she was still not sure whether a second vaccine was needed for her children and so she did not give it to them.
The measles-rubella vaccination campaign started on January 25 all over the country with an aim to give the vaccine to each child between nine months and under 15 years of age.
The three-week long vaccination campaign will continue till February 13 and about 5.20 crore children will be given measles-rubella vaccine.
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