Kazakhstan starts vaccinating adult population against measles

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan will begin to vaccinate the adult population against measles in September, announced Lyudmila Byurabekova, the chairperson of Committee for Quality and Safety of Goods and Services of the Ministry of Healthcare, at an Aug. 28 press conference in the Central Communications Service.

The ministry has seen a high incidence of measles among people 20 to 29 years old.

“We have decided to conduct additional vaccination against measles and rubella in this age group. The vaccine has been purchased for now. This is the WHO-qualified (World Health Organisation) Serum Institute of India vaccine. The vaccination will start in September. These measures will help stabilise the measles situation,” Byurabekova said.

The Ministry of Healthcare purchased two million doses of the vaccine. Vaccinations of adults of other age groups will also be carried out.

According to Byurabekova, to date, the Ministry of Healthcare has registered more than 10,326 measles cases in all regions of Kazakhstan. The largest number is registered in Nur-Sultan (more than 3,000 people) and in Shymkent (more than 1,000 people).

The ministry monitors the incidence of measles in the country. Children are the most vulnerable to infectious diseases due to reduced overall body resistance, the chairperson said.

“Epidemic measures are being carried out in the foci of infection. Approximately 17,000 contact persons have been vaccinated. Considering that unvaccinated children younger than one year old are more prone to get sick, children from nine months old have been vaccinated since April,” the chairperson said.

To date, 147,000 children and 72,000 medical workers have been vaccinated.

Vaccination is carried out in order to produce specific antibodies in the body, thereby enhancing the body’s protective function (immunity) to diseases such as pertussis, tetanus, diphtheria, tuberculosis, polio, measles, rubella and mumps. The only effective measure of protection against measles is vaccination, said the chairperson.