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  1. Measles outbreaks continue to occur in a number of EU/EEA countries, and there is a risk of spread and sustained transmission in areas with susceptible populations. Since the beginning of 2016, 48 deaths due to measles were reported in the EU. New data published today by ECDC in the Communicable Disease Threat Report (CDTR) show that the highest number of measles cases in 2017 were reported in Romania (7 977), Italy (4 854) and Germany (904). Greece is currently experiencing a measles outbreak, with 690 cases including two deaths, reported since May 2017; most cases were unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated. The monthly measles and rubella surveillance monitoring report is also published today and provides more in-depth analysis of the situation. The spread of measles across Europe is due to suboptimal vaccination coverage in many EU/EEA countries: of all measles cases reported during the one-year period 1 November 2016‒31 October 2017 with known vaccination status, 87% were not vaccinated. Measles increasingly affects all age groups across Europe and in 2017, 45% of measles cases with known age were aged 15 years or older. Romania, Italy, Germany and Greece were the countries most affected by measles during 2016 and 2017 and each shows different trends: Romania saw a sharp increase in cases from October 2016, and the trend has continued throughout 2017; in Italy, the increasing trend started in January 2017, while in Germany it began in February 2017; Greece has seen a measles outbreak starting in the second half of 2017, with 167 cases reported in October. This data is based on analysis of the cases notified to ECDC and included in the monthly and biannual monitoring reports. The latest available figures on vaccination coverage collected by WHO (2016) show that the vaccination coverage for the first dose of measles was below 95% in 18 of 30 EU/EEA countries; for the second dose of measles, it was below 95% in 20 of 27 EU/EEA countries reporting second dose coverage data. In order to achieve the measles elimination goal, the vaccination coverage rates for children targeted by routine vaccination programmes should increase in a number of countries, as the vaccination coverage of the second dose must be at least 95% to interrupt measles circulation and achieve herd immunity. This is particularly important to protect children below one year of age, who are particularly vulnerable to complications of measles but are too young to have received the first dose of vaccine. Read more ECDC collects measles data on a monthly basis via The European Surveillance System (TESSy). In addition, ECDC monitors measles and rubella epidemiology and outbreaks via epidemic intelligence. For a complete overview of data regarding measles outbreaks in the EU/EEA in 2016 and 2017, the following outputs are available and regularly updated: Communicable Disease Threat Report “Measles and Rubella, Monitoring European and worldwide outbreaks” (Epidemic intelligence data) Monthly measles and rubella monitoring report (a concise report with TESSy data from 1 November 2016 – 31 October 2017) Bi-annual measles and rubella monitoring report (an extensive report, TESSy and epidemic intelligence data presented, with data from 1 January 2016 – 30 June 2017) ECDC Atlas of Infectious Diseases (TESSy data) Monthly-Measles-Rubella-monitoring-report-December-2017_0.pdf
  2. In accordance with its mandate to provide guidance to the Member States on health policy matters, WHO issues a series of regularly updated position papers on vaccines and combinations of vaccines against diseases that have an international public health impact. These papers are concerned primarily with the use of vaccines in large-scale immunization programmes. They summarize essential background information on vaccine preventable diseases and vaccines and conclude with the current WHO position on the use of vaccines worldwide. Full text at WHO Bulletin 28 April 2017
  3. Save the Children Report: Further, Faster, Fairer Reaching every last child with immunisation September 2016 DOWNLOAD THIS REPORT (PDF) Progress in the coverage of immunisation services over the past decade has been impressive, with 86% of children globally now receiving basic vaccinations. However, there is cause for concern. Progress has recently slowed and the 2011–2020 Global Vaccine Action Plan is off-track. 19.4 million children under one year old – one in seven – are still excluded from the full benefits of immunisation. Further, Faster, Fairer shows that these excluded children are not evenly interspersed among other children who are being vaccinated. Instead they are concentrated in communities that are systematically excluded from progress. Read more about the report on Save the Children website
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