Measles has killed 12 Children in the Western City of Mumbai and its surroundings, authorities say.
The first death was reported around October 26-27 when three children died within 48 hours.
According to NDTV, the city had 233 confirmed measles cases this year until Wednesday, a three-fold increase from the 92 cases reported last year.
Authorities say the slow vaccination campaign during the Covid pandemic has contributed to the increase in infections.
According to a press release from the local municipal body, the most recent death was that of an eight-month-old baby who was only partially immunized, according to a press release from the local municipal body.
Measles is even more contagious than Covid and can lead to serious complications, especially in children under the age of five.
The two-dose mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR) vaccine can prevent the illness, which causes coughing, rashes, and fever.
According to BBC, Several large outbreaks have occurred in countries throughout Europe where MMR vaccine uptake has been low. Nine in every 10 people can catch it if they are unvaccinated.
Measles, in addition to causing a distinctive rash, can cause severe complications such as pneumonia and brain inflammation, and can sometimes be fatal. Vaccination can eliminate nearly all of these risks.
MMR vaccine provides 99% protection against measles and rubella and approximately 88% protection against mumps after two doses.
When a large proportion of the population is immunized, it becomes more difficult for the disease to spread between people.
However, there has been a concerning drop in the number of children receiving these vaccines on time since the start of the Covid pandemic.
Measles: 23 Million children missed essential vaccines in 2020
In 2020, 23 million children will have missed their essential childhood vaccines. According to Unicef, this is the highest number since 2009 and is 3.7 million more than in 2019.
Authorities in Mumbai say that due to the pandemic, approximately 20,000 children did not receive their measles vaccine on time.
“We are now tracking all of these children and holding vaccination camps on priority,” Mumbai’s executive health officer, Dr. Mangala Gomare, told The Indian Express newspaper.
According to health officials, other issues, such as vaccine hesitancy are also impeding the drive. “Some children develop mild fever and pain in the injected area after vaccination, so parents don’t let them get vaccinated,” Shreya Salvi, a health volunteer, told the newspaper