WHO / MEASLES

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14-Feb-2019 00:02:48
The World Health Organization (WHO) today reported that cases of measles are on the rise and urged action to ensure that people be protected through vaccines. Dr. Katherine O’Brien, Director of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals for WHO, outlined guidelines for governments and individual families, stressing that all people must have access to scientific information on the effectiveness of the measles vaccine. WHO

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STORY: WHO / MEASLES
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SOURCE: WHO
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 14 FEBRUARY 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Med shot, World Health Organization flag

14 FEBRUARY 2019, GENEVA, SWTIZERLAND

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr. Katherine O’Brien, Director of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, World Health Organization (WHO):
“We have a fantastic vaccine against measles. Unfortunately, this vaccine isn't being used to the degree that it needs to be used. Since the year 2000, we've had a massive reduction in the cases of measles and deaths from measles, unfortunately we're back sliding now and we're having an increase in the number of cases and this is actually a tragedy for families and children.”
3. Med shot, O’Brien being interviewed
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr. Katherine O’Brien, Director of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, World Health Organization (WHO):
“WHO has really clear and strong recommendations about not only what governments can do, what WHO should be doing, but also about what parents should do, what individual families can do. The first recommendation is that every child should be vaccinated against measles on time and with the right number of doses, it's two doses of measles vaccine. The second recommendation is that governments really to assure that the programmes that they have for measles vaccine are accessible to all families. The third recommendation is that we need to communicate real information about measles and about the vaccine. We need to assure that people have access to information that's correct, that's scientific and isn't some scaremongering tactic. The fourth thing is that WHO is actively working with countries to respond to these measles outbreaks right now, and that means assisting countries to initiate and take on board campaigns where measles vaccine can rapidly get out to those communities where there are large numbers of children who are not vaccinated.”
5. Med shot, O’Brien being interviewed
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr. Katherine O’Brien, Director of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Measles vaccine is an incredibly safe vaccine. The vaccine has been around for over 50 years, hundreds of millions of children have received this vaccine and are now healthy thriving adults, in large parts because they didn't die of measles because they got vaccine. There can be mild reactions to measles vaccine, redness at the site of injection or soreness of the leg or the arm where it was injected, but those are mild reactions and anything more serious is extremely rare.”

FILE – WHO - JULY 2018, SIERRA LEONE

7. Close up, health worker preparing vaccine
8. Med shot, child being vaccinated
9. Close up, healthcare worker discarding syringe
10. Close up, child holding measles vaccination card

STORYLINE:

The World Health Organization (WHO) today (14 Feb) reported that cases of measles are on the rise and urged action to ensure that people be protected through vaccines. Dr. Katherine O’Brien, Director of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals for WHO, outlined guidelines for governments and individual families, stressing that all people must have access to scientific information on the effectiveness of the measles vaccine.

Provisional data indicates that with 230,000 cases, the number of measles cases initially reported for 2018 have already exceeded the total reported measles cases for the year 2017, which were just above 173,000 cases, according to WHO. The reporting period for 2018 has not yet closed, so this figure is expected to increase. Officially reported cases are only a fraction of the full picture.

WHO called on partners to act with urgency, clarity and appropriate tactics to close the gap in vaccine coverage and ensure measles vaccines are available, accessible and delivered to all children who need them.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease which remains an important cause of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine.

While global measles deaths have decreased by 84 percent worldwide in recent years — from 550,100 deaths in 2000 to 89,780 in 2016 — measles is still common in many developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. An estimated 7 million people were affected by measles in 2016. The overwhelming majority (more than 95%) of measles deaths occur in countries with low per capita incomes and weak health infrastructures.

The measles vaccine has been in use since the 1960s.
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WHO
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