Make the choice to vaccinate against measles
The Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness encourages parents, guardians and caregivers to ensure children are vaccinated this month as a measles outbreak has been declared in the Cape Metro. Vaccination is safer than having the disease (and potential complications) itself.
To date, a total of 313 641 measles vaccines have been administered provincially as part of the measles vaccination campaign. In addition, a total of 12 651 measles vaccines have been administered by private pharmacies, clinics and healthcare providers. This translates to 15% of the 1 727 392 children under the age of 15 that need to be vaccinated by 31 March 2023. It is important that we reach many more children and provide them with this potentially life-saving vaccine to avoid any complications from the measles disease.
Breakdown of measles vaccines administered provincially, as of 1 March 2023:
Cape Metro – 147 239 (10% coverage rate)
Cape Winelands – 57 317 (20% coverage rate)
Central Karoo – 5 426 (23% coverage rate)
Garden Route – 45 011 (23% coverage rate)
Overberg – 25 203 (26% coverage rate)
West Coast – 33 355 (22% coverage rate)
Vaccination is voluntary and parental consent is needed in crèches and schools for children to receive the vaccination. With only a few weeks left to interrupt the spread of measles through vaccination, we appeal to parents, caregivers and guardians to support our campaign. This will contribute to increased protection against and contribute to the elimination of measles. When we focus on the why, when and how, the message to parents is simple: ‘Let’s stop the outbreak, measles is preventable, the vaccine is safe, you can ensure your child is protected by letting them get vaccinated,” says Sonia Botha, the coordinator of the Western Cape’s Expanded Programme on Immunisation.
Through the ongoing measles campaign, we aim to interrupt measles transmission amongst our communities. Children 6 months to 15 years of age are included for vaccination during the outbreak response and nationwide campaign. Most side-effects from vaccination are minor and quickly disappear. Severe allergic reactions are rare. If any reaction is severe or persistent, or if you are worried about your child, please contact your healthcare worker or doctor.