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After 15-Year Vaccination Campaign, Rubella Eliminated From The Americas, Global Health Authorities Announce

Agence France-Presse: Rubella is gone from the Americas: global health authorities
“Improved vaccine campaigns have led to the elimination of rubella — an infectious disease that can cause birth defects — from North, Central, and South America, global health authorities said Wednesday…” (4/29).

Associated Press: German measles officially eliminated in North, South America
“…Vaccines against German measles were first licensed in 1969, and were included in mass vaccination campaigns. It is now part of childhood shots…” (Stobbe, 4/29).

Deutsche Welle: German measles eradicated from Americas
“…It is the third infectious disease after polio and smallpox to be eliminated from the two continents…” (4/30).

Forbes: Rubella Eliminated from the Americas, Thanks to MMR Vaccine
“…After 15 years of a widespread vaccination campaign with the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine, the Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization announced [Wednesday] that rubella no longer circulates in the Americas. The only way a person could catch it is if they are visiting another country or if it is imported into a North, Central, or South American country…” (Haelle, 4/30).

New York Times: Rubella Has Been Eliminated From the Americas, Health Officials Say
“… ‘Although it has taken some 15 years, the fight against rubella has paid off,’ said Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization, which made the announcement in conjunction with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, and the United Nations Foundation…” (McNeil, 4/29).

TIME: Americas Region Becomes World’s First to Eliminate Rubella
“…Rubella and congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) are now the third and fourth vaccine-preventable diseases to be eliminated in the Americas, following smallpox in 1971 and polio in 1994, and experts say it also speaks to the success of a 15-year initiative to provide widespread vaccination against mumps and rubella (MMR) in the area…” (Sifferlin, 4/29).

UPI: WHO: Americas the first to eliminate rubella
“… ‘The elimination of rubella from the Americas is a historic achievement that reflects the collective will of our region’s countries to work together to achieve ambitious public health milestones,’ said PAHO/WHO Director Carissa F. Etienne…” (Haynes, 4/29).

U.S. News & World Report: Amid Concerns About Vaccine Adherence, Rubella Declared Eliminated
“…Before vaccination efforts, up to 20,000 children were born with congenital rubella syndrome each year in Latin America and the Caribbean. In the U.S., 20,000 infants were born with congenital rubella syndrome during the last outbreak, which occurred from 1964 to 1965…” (Leonard, 4/29).

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