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PAHO warns of possible measles outbreaks given lower vaccination rate

Washington, Feb 9 (Prensa Latina) PAHO on Thursday warned of possible measles outbreaks given the decreased child vaccination coverage and urged the Americas to avoid endemic transmission.

According to PAHO´s Technical Advisory Group on Vaccines, the risk of outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in the region has spiked in the last 30 years.

In 2021, over 1.7 million children in 28 countries and territories in the Americas did not receive the first measles vaccine dose on their first birthday. Regional coverage with the first dose that protects against measles, rubella and mumps (known as MMR or MMR) was 85%.

Only six nations achieved the ideal coverage of 95% or more to curb these diseases and ten countries reported less than 80% coverage.

Such a situation indicates the high risk of unvaccinated children becoming infected if exposed to the virus.

Measles is a highly contagious and serious disease caused by a virus, for which safe and effective vaccines are available.

The Americas was declared measles-free in 2016, however, ahead of virus spread elsewhere on the planet, regional nations reported an increased case toll between 2017 and 2019, with most significant outbreaks in Brazil and Venezuela.

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