2011-07-01Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1093/infdis/jir068
Closer to the Goal: Efforts in Measles Elimination in Germany 2010
Increasing 2-dose vaccination coverage has led to an interruption of endemic measles virus circulation in Germany. However, outbreaks after virus importation still occur and contribute to international transmission chains. Between 2003 and 2009, annual measles incidence ranged between 0.2 and 2.8 per 100,000 population. Immunization gaps have been identified especially in secondary-school students and young adults, which is also reflected by a shift in age distribution of reported measles cases toward older age groups. Stronger political commitment and standardized guidelines for outbreak containment were put in place in Germany in the past years, but the last step toward measles elimination cannot be made until the number of susceptible individuals has been further reduced. In addition to routine childhood vaccination, supplementary immunization activities are needed targeting school students and young adults to close critical immunization gaps. Intensification of public awareness and sound information on vaccinations are necessary to convince skeptics and remind the forgetful.
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