[Verifying the Elimination of Measles and Rubella in the WHO European region: the Case of Spain]

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Rev Esp Salud Publica. 2015 Jul-Aug;89(4):353-5. doi: 10.4321/S1135-57272015000400003.

[Verifying the Elimination of Measles and Rubella in the WHO European region: the Case of Spain].

[Article in English Spanish]

Santos Preciado JI.


Like some other countries in the Region Spain has recently experienced multiple but small lmeasles outbreaks resulting from several importations and in which health care professionals were also infected. The European Regional Verification Commission (RVC) for Measles and Rubella Elimination an independent panel of experts conducted an annual review of the reports submitted by the National Verification Committees (NVC) and a country visit to assess the status of interruption of endemic transmission of these diseases in Spain. Essential criteria supporting interruption included absence of endemic transmission in the presence of high-quality surveillance system and genotyping evidence. High vaccination coverage with the first dose of measles -and rubella-containing vaccine (MRCV1) has been maintained above 95% at national level. The figure is based on the number of doses administered to children aged 12-24 months. However there are two autonomous regions namely Cataluña and Castilla y Leon with low (<90%) vaccination coverage. In the autonomous regions of Murcia and Melilla although the coverage with MRCV1 was above 95% that of the second dose of measles -and rubella-containing vaccine was below 90. On the basis of the evidence provided with only two imported cases of rubella in 2013 the RVC concluded that endemic transmission of rubella had been interrupted in Spain but there is a risk of re-establishing transmission due to the sub-optimal population immunity in at least four regions as the coverage with two doses of measles- and rubella- containing vaccines was below the required minimum of 95%.