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J Infect Dis. 2003 May 15;187 Suppl 1:S230-4.

Measles epidemiology and elimination strategies in Turkey.

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  • 1Regional Office for Europe, World Health Organization, Ankara, Turkey. dhm5@cdc.gov


In Turkey, 15,000-30,000 measles cases have been reported annually since the 1990s. Epidemics occur every 3-4 years, and >/=90% of cases are <15 years old. The high incidence is due to inadequate vaccination coverage (nationally 84% in 2001) and immunity provided by the first dose of vaccine administered at age 9 months. The second dose, which has been recommended for first grade students since 1998, has been insufficient to provide the herd immunity necessary to control measles. The Ministry of Health launched a comprehensive program for 2002-2010 targeting measles elimination. This plan calls for a national vaccination campaign among all children aged 9 months to 14 years and routine two-dose vaccination coverage will be increased to >/=95% or follow-up campaigns will be conducted in areas not achieving high coverage levels. Also, all military recruits in 2002-2009 will be vaccinated and case-based, laboratory supported surveillance will be initiated.

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