India Court Stops Measles & Rubella Vaccinations

India measles vaccinations cannot be administered forcibly and without the consent of parents

india children in classroom

The New Delhi High Court stopped the implementation of the ‘Measles and Rubella Vaccine Immunization Campaign’ by the Delhi government on January 15, 2019. 

Justice Vibhu Bakhru’s court order said that ‘measles vaccination cannot be administered “forcibly” and without the consent of parents,’ reported Hindustan Times.  

“We are studying the order and looking at how to seek consent,” said Dr. Nutan Mundeja, Delhi’s director general of health services. 

This court’s order came while over 70 Mumbi schools refused to launch the measles vaccination program, reported India Times

At least 220 million children from 30 states and union territories have already been vaccinated under the nationwide campaign that started in 2017. 

“This is a unique situation; so far, none of the other states have had a petition filed against the campaign, except for Kerala where too the court quashed it,” said Dr. Pankaj Bhatnagar of the World Health Organisation’s National Polio Surveillance Programme, which is responsible for observing the coverage of the MR vaccine as well. 

Measles is a leading cause of death in children, with one-third (around 56 000 in 2011) of all measles deaths worldwide happening in India, reports the World Health Organization. 

Measles is a disease that can lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia (infection of the lungs), and even death. It is caused by a highly-contagious virus that is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing says the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

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Rubella causes birth defects, such as irreversible deafness and blindness in nearly 40 thousand children in India every year. 

During 2018, measles outbreaks were reported by 28 countries.   

To alert Americans planning international trips, the CDC issued various Level 1, Travel Alerts, which say travelers should make sure they are vaccinated against measles with the MMR vaccine, prior to departure.   

And, to ensure you are up-to-date on diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella, polio, and a yearly flu shot. 

Additionally, India has been confronted with Polio, Zika, and fake vaccines during 2018:

Travel vaccine and medication counseling sessions can be scheduled with a local pharmacy at Vax-Before-Travel.

And, vaccine discounts can be found here.