On 9th September 2019, Liberia introduced a second dose of the Measles Containing Vaccine (MCV2) into the routine immunization program in the second year of life. The introduction of the second dose of the MCV2 provides a unique opportunity to vaccinate a susceptible population that didn’t get protection either as a result of not receiving the vaccine or not experiencing sero-conversion following receipt of the first dose of the vaccine.
The official launch was celebrated at the Liberia Government Hospital, Tubmanburg, Bomi County, and was graced by the presence of senior Government officials from national and sub-national levels; the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as representatives from stakeholders including UNICEF, UNFPA, JHPIEGO, Liberia Immunization Platform, Last Mile Health, Civil Society Organizations, Women Groups, parents (predominantly mothers), and the media.
Ambassador Julie Endee, Liberia’s Cultural and Peace Ambassador, graced the launch as the guest of honor. In her speech, she emphasized that her participation in the program was not only an honor but a call to duty. She noted the importance of recognizing the need to strengthen Primary Health Care as a driving force to achieving Universal Health Coverage, in Liberia.
Dr. Mesfin G. Zbelo, WHO Liberia representative (a.i.) noted, with gratitude, that the introduction of the second dose of measles vaccination in Liberia will significantly contribute to reduction in measles morbidity and mortality as well as the overall child mortality. He said that, under the global vaccine action plan, measles and rubella are targeted for elimination in the (five) 5 WHO regions by 2020. Dr. Mesfin emphasized that strengthening routine immunization is a critical component of the measles elimination strategies and forms the foundation for achieving and sustaining high levels of population immunity to measles. Additionally, he stated that, since 2009, WHO has recommended that reaching all children with two doses of measles containing vaccine should be standard for all national immunization programs.
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