The health authorities have decided to administer an additional vaccination dose against measles to infants aged between 6 – 9 months, the Epidemiology Unit says.

Accordingly, an MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) Supplementary Immunization Activity (SIA) is scheduled to be held on January 06 (Saturday) at all immunization clinic centres in 9 high-risk health districts.

The vaccination program will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Colombo (including the CMC area), Gampaha, Kalutara, Galle, Matara, Kandy, Jaffna, Kurunegala and Kalmunai health districts.

The Epidemiology Unit said children born between April 07, 2023, and July 05, 2023, are eligible to receive the additional vaccination dose.

The MMR vaccination should be considered an additional vaccination dose, the Epidemiology Unit explained, noting that routine MMR vaccination should be given to all children who have received SIA-MMR vaccination, on completion of 9 months and 3 years of age.

Concerns have been raised after Sri Lanka recorded over 700 cases of measles over the course of 2023, despite being declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019 as the fourth country in the Southeast Asian region to eliminate the acute viral respiratory illness.

Health officials have urged parents to ensure their children receive the necessary immunization.