Salud is offering measles vaccination to those born between 1966 and 1980 after an increase in cases in Europe

Salud is offering measles vaccination to those born between 1966 and 1980 after an increase in cases in Europe

The Ministry of Health offers measles vaccination to citizens between the ages of 44 and 58 years, after an increase in cases in Europe and the inability to vaccinate this age group. Systematic measles vaccination began in 1981, and those born in 1965 or earlier are likely already immunized due to their exposure to the disease.

Therefore, people who go to CAP for some medical reason at this age are offered the possibility of having one dose, and at least four weeks after the second, which immunizes them for life. So far this year, 16 cases have been detected throughout Catalonia.

In those years, the incidence of measles was low and the vaccine was not on schedules. In the 1970s, a monovalent vaccine was used but only for a short time, so although people are vaccinated, there is no perfect protection in this age group.

The roll-out of systematic vaccination began in 1981 with the triple viral vaccine, which also protects against rubella and mumps. This is why, with measles infection rates rising in neighboring countries, people born between 1966 and 1980 (those aged 44 to 58) are now among the groups most exposed to the virus. Health wants people of this age who have not been vaccinated at the time and who have not passed the infection to receive two separate doses of the vaccine at least four weeks apart this year.

Deputy Director General for Public Health Surveillance and Emergency Response, Jacobo Mendioros, told the newspaper that an alert device had been set up in the CAPs. When people of this age arrive there for any medical reason, they are checked to see if they have passed measles or been vaccinated, and if not, they are offered the vaccine. At the present time, there are no plans to invite citizens to be vaccinated, as was the case with the Corona virus or influenza.

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The other goal is to vaccinate children between the ages of three and ten who have not been vaccinated. Mendioros says the vaccination is 99% effective. That is why, in this case, parents of 12-month-old children were warned to give them the first dose.

As for the rest of the population, the immunization rate is very high, higher than in other European countries, which is why only 16 cases have been detected since the beginning of the year, in people aged 6 months in age. Of the 57, nine are in the metropolitan area. Only three of these cases were considered imported, as they had a history of travel to a country where measles rates are currently high. The other cases are considered original cases and are linked to each other from an epidemiological standpoint. Eight cases required hospitalization and two developed complications, but all were discharged from the hospital, according to a report from the administration last Wednesday. 104 cases have been reported across Spain this year.

However, the fact that infections are increasing on the European continent means that they are also doing so in Catalonia, although there is no warning sign. Measles has been eliminated in Spain since 2016 due to a vaccination rate of up to 95%. However, Public Health has begun organizing courses for health workers warning them about this “change” that has occurred in recent years. “We tell them that now they can see more cases of measles than in other years, so they can be attentive and not rule out this disease,” explains Mendioros. In addition, health is also asking them to monitor specific “communities” or “areas” that are vulnerable to non-vaccination.

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