According to recent research published in Science Daily, the existing measles vaccine schedule is insufficient to totally eradicate the illness.
The study investigates whether current vaccination schedules are enough for eliminating measles and rubella in 93 countries with the greatest disease burden. According to recent research done by academics at the University of Georgia, present approaches for preventing measles through immunization are insufficient.
A recent study published in The Lancet Global Health investigates the possibility of eliminating measles and rubella with existing vaccination regimens in 93 of the world’s most disease-burdened nations. While the number of new cases of measles and rubella has reduced dramatically throughout the world, there is still a long way to go before these diseases are completely eliminated.
“Measles is one of the most contagious respiratory illnesses out there, and it moves rapidly, so it’s hard to treat,” said lead author Amy Winter of the University of Georgia’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. For measles, the basic reproduction number (R0), or the estimated number of susceptible persons infected by a single ill person, is roughly 18. For the initial SARS-CoV-2 virus, a R0 of 3 is a realistic approximation.
In 2017, the World Health Organization’s chief questioned whether the illnesses of measles and rubella could be eliminated. This study analyzed and contrasted various alternative types of vaccination programs using transmission models to find which one would be most effective in eradicating the two viruses.
The WHO, the CDC, and the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Measles and Rubella all took part in the evaluation, as did five different modeling groups. The modeling groups evaluated yearly case rates for measles and rubella for two vaccination scenarios using four national disease transmission models and one sub-national model.
In each of these vaccination contexts, two of the most common vaccination tactics are used: regular vaccination as part of children’s immunization regimens and countrywide vaccination campaigns.
The first scenario is “business as usual,” in which vaccine coverage and campaigns continue indefinitely. The second scenario, “intensified investment,” saw the biggest rise in vaccine coverage over time. As a result, the scenario includes conditions for terminating vaccination efforts once a sufficient fraction of the population has been immunized.
According to the models, current vaccination regimens are capable of entirely eliminating rubella and congenital rubella syndrome in all 93 counties. The current measles eradication approach, which focuses on increasing regular vaccine coverage and augmenting it with statewide immunization campaigns until routine vaccination coverage reaches a critical level, has failed.
The authors investigated two measures that might speed a country’s path to eradication and minimize the likelihood of measles outbreaks. To begin, supplementary vaccine campaigns must be better distributed so that children who do not receive standard immunizations are not neglected. The second step is to increase vaccine coverage equity by focusing on the regions with the lowest immunization rates and bringing them up to parity through regular and supplementary vaccination.
If measles and rubella could be eradicated from the world for good, it would be a major achievement for humanity. “Our data suggests that to attain this aim, we need to make vaccination coverage substantially more equitable,” said co-author and professor of vaccine epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Mark Jit. “This suggests that we must increase our efforts to provide measles and rubella vaccinations to the world’s poorest,”
Finally, the authors advise changing current quitting criteria as a last option. While most countries stop augmenting routine vaccinations with vaccination campaigns once they attain eradication status, the models show that outbreaks are still likely if governments rely solely on regular vaccines, according to Winter.
Winter emphasizes the significance of ongoing case monitoring and prompt action even after rubella and measles elimination. She claims that the global nature of our culture makes it more difficult to control the spread of infectious diseases. This is why it is critical to maintain high immunization rates and to improve disease surveillance.