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The impact of Australia's measles control programme over the past decade

  • H. F. GIDDING (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 October 2004

We reviewed measles surveillance data for 1993–2002 to determine the impact of Australia's measles control initiatives. The introduction of a second dose of measles–mumps–rubella (MMR) vaccine for 10- to 16-year-olds in 1993 was followed by marked reductions in measles notifications and hospitalizations, especially in the targeted age group. Further rate reductions were achieved following the Measles Control Campaign (MCC) in 1998, which involved a catch-up campaign for primary-school-aged children and lowering the age for the second dose of MMR vaccine to 4 years. Since the MCC, outbreaks have continued to occur, but most had a source case who was infected overseas, which suggests that indigenous transmission has been interrupted. In addition, a greater proportion of cases have been in adults although infants aged <5 years still had the highest rates. In conclusion, Australia is making good progress towards measles elimination. However, as in other countries, this progress can be sustained only by maintaining high vaccination coverage with the routine childhood vaccination schedule.

Corresponding author
Ms. H. F. Gidding, National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases (NCIRS), Locked Bag 4001, Westmead, NSW, 2145, Australia. (Email:
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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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