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Shiraz University of Medical Sciences
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Iran J Med Sci September 2012; Vol 37 No 3 217 IJMS Vol 37, No 3, September 2012 The Authors’ Reply Letter to the Editor Dear Editor We thank the reader for raising some important issues related to the paper titled ‘Mass Measles Vaccination Campaign in Aila Cyclone-Affected Areas of West Bengal, India: An In-depth Analysis and Experiences’ published in Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences, Vol 36(4), December 2011. We would like to share our views regarding the points raised. Comment 1: Vaccination at the age of 6 months may be not effective enough, Therefore, this would lead to the loss of public health funds, which is important for any countries. It is true that measles vaccination at the age of 6 months may not be effective enough. It was already decided by policy makers to schedule MCV1 administration at the age of 9-12 months in the Universal Immunization Program in India. The upper age limit was fixed as 5 years for those who missed it. However, natural calamity may warrant measles vaccination in a comparatively wider age bracket to save the most vulnerable subjects. The WHO-CDC guideline states that ‘mass measles immunization together with vitamin A supplementation is immediate health priorities following natural disasters in areas with inadequate coverage levels. Where the baseline coverage rates among those aged <15 years are below 90%, mass measles immunization should be implemented as soon as possible. The priority age groups are 6 months to 5 years, and up to 15 years if resources allow.1 The standard guidelines may require mass vaccination to cover <10-year-old children. Previously in India in Koshi flood affected areas, children from 6 months to 14 years old were vaccinated in the initial phase after the disaster.2 In our setting, the plan deviated from the norm in consultation with the State Health Authori

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