Morocco Launches Massive Measles Vaccination Campaign


By: Modupe Adeniyi. Freelance Health Reporter

Partial map of North Africa showing Morocco

Partial map of North Africa showing Morocco. Click on image to enlarge.


MONDAY, March 25, 2024 - Aiming to boost declining childhood immunization rates, Morocco has launched a massive nationwide campaign to ramp up measles vaccinations across the country.


The Ministry of Health and Social Protection announced the drive in response to a drop in vaccine coverage observed in most regions during the COVID-19 pandemic. It urges parents and guardians to promptly review the vaccination records of children aged 9-18 months at health facilities.


"This campaign specifically targets administering two measles vaccine doses to unvaccinated children in this age group, while ensuring those who received only one dose complete the required regimen," said Health Minister Khalid Ait Taleb.


Morocco has witnessed a resurgence in measles cases, signaling broader transmission risk. The highly contagious viral illness can lead to severe complications and death, especially in unvaccinated young children.


Health centers nationwide will offer free measles shots as part of this sweeping preventative campaign to shield residents from potential outbreaks.  


"We must actively engage all stakeholders in this operation to prevent the spread of epidemiological diseases and safeguard public health," Taleb stated.


The vaccination push follows repeated World Health Organization warnings about declining global measles surveillance and immunization rates, which elevate epidemic risks. Prior to COVID-19, childhood vaccination coverage in Morocco exceeded 90%.


By mobilizing resources for this campaign, Morocco aims to rapidly restore measles immunity among its youngest, most vulnerable population to pre-pandemic levels and prevent future outbreaks of the contagious disease.


Health officials urge all parents to take advantage of the free measles shots being offered at local health centers under this nationwide initiative to protect children's wellbeing.


"Measles vaccines are safe, effective and a vital tool to secure both individual and community protection against this potentially deadly disease," Taleb emphasized. "We cannot be complacent."


The robust vaccination drive reflects Morocco's commitment to proactive public health policies and coordinated preventive action to counter resurgent epidemiological threats that could jeopardize its childhood immunization gains.


Source: Morocco World News.


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Published: March 18, 2024

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