Measles immunization: early two-doses policy experience

J Trop Pediatr. 1999 Apr;45(2):98-104. doi: 10.1093/tropej/45.2.98.


Before the implementation of the two-dose measles immunization policy in Saudi Arabia, 50 per cent of measles cases in children below the age of one year were reported for the age group 6-8 months. In 1991 two doses of measles vaccine, at 6 months and 12 months, the second dose incorporated with MMR, were integrated into the expanded programme of immunization (EPI). Since 1993, vaccination coverage for the second dose has been above 90 per cent. While measles incidence remains stable in infants below 6 months of age, the incidence in children 9-11 months of age dropped by 50 per cent. The greatest impact was seen in the 6-8-month age group where the incidence dropped by more than 75 per cent. Moreover this two-dose strategy resulted in a situation in which 80 per cent of the measles cases were in children above the age of 5 years, mostly those who had not had two doses of measles vaccine. Further control measures should include non-selective vaccination of school children against measles. The two-dose measles vaccination policy is visualized as a necessity if the goal of measles elimination is to be achieved. Routine monthly reports validated by surveys using the WHO standard 30 cluster technique was used for the study.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs*
  • Immunization Schedule*
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Measles / epidemiology
  • Measles / prevention & control*
  • Measles Vaccine / administration & dosage*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology


  • Measles Vaccine