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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2007 Apr 6;56(13):304-7.

Elimination of measles--South Korea, 2001-2006.


Before the introduction of measles-containing vaccine (MCV), measles was endemic in South Korea. MCV became available in South Korea in 1965, and measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine was added to the country's national immunization program in 1983, with 1 dose administered at age 9-15 months. In 1997, a second dose of MCV (MCV2) was added to the schedule; recommended ages for administration of MCV1 and MCV2 were 12-15 months and 4-6 years, respectively. However, with insufficient policies and programs in place to promote 2-dose coverage, this 1997 recommendation achieved limited coverage with 2 doses of MCV. In a 2000 seroepidemiologic study among children aged 7-9 years who had been eligible for vaccination since 1997, only 39% had received MCV2 (Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [KCDC], unpublished data, 2001). During 2000-2001, South Korea experienced a measles epidemic that affected tens of thousands of children. In response, in 2001, South Korea announced a 5-year National Measles Elimination Plan. This report describes the activities and summarizes the results of that plan, which enabled South Korea to announce in late 2006 that interruption of indigenous measles transmission had been achieved, making South Korea the first country in the World Health Organization's (WHO) Western Pacific Region declare measles eliminated.

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