Next steps towards eliminating measles and rubella in Europe


In September 2010, WHO European Region set a new target date for eliminating measles and rubella by 2015. At a WHO/Europe consultation in December 2010, national immunisation experts agreed on the steps that will be taken to document and verify the elimination of measles and rubella, and the prevention of congenital rubella syndrome (due to infection early in pregnancy) from the Region. The participants approved a framework for the verification process that takes account of countries' experiences.

Framework for the verification process in Europe
Documenting and verifying the elimination of measles and rubella and prevention of congenital rubella syndrome in the WHO European Region require several standard, interrelated components, including:

  • detailed information on measles and rubella epidemiology;
  • virologic surveillance, supported by molecular epidemiology;
  • an analysis of the vaccinated population;
  • high-quality surveillance; and
  • a sustainable national immunisation programme.

Establishment of national committees
National committees for verification of measles and rubella elimination will be established to compile and submit this information annually to a regional commission. The national committees will continue to provide data for at least three years after the regional commission has reported the interruption of endemic measles and rubella transmission. Only then can regional elimination be declared.

More information can be found here.