Global Progress Toward Rubella and Congenital Rubella Syndrome Control and Elimination - 2000-2014

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015 Sep 25;64(37):1052-5. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6437a5.


Rubella virus usually causes a mild fever and rash in children and adults. However, infection during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, can result in miscarriage, fetal death, stillbirth, or a constellation of congenital malformations known as congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) updated guidance on the preferred strategy for introduction of rubella-containing vaccine (RCV) into national routine immunization schedules, including an initial vaccination campaign usually targeting children aged 9 months-15 years . The Global Vaccine Action Plan endorsed by the World Health Assembly in 2012 and the Global Measles and Rubella Strategic Plan (2012-2020) published by Measles and Rubella Initiative partners in 2012 both include goals to eliminate rubella and CRS in at least two WHO regions by 2015, and at least five WHO regions by 2020 (2,3). This report updates a previous report and summarizes global progress toward rubella and CRS control and elimination during 2000-2014. As of December 2014, RCV had been introduced in 140 (72%) countries, an increase from 99 (51%) countries in 2000 (for this report, WHO member states are referred to as countries). Reported rubella cases declined 95%, from 670,894 cases in 102 countries in 2000 to 33,068 cases in 162 countries in 2014, although reporting is inconsistent. To achieve the 2020 Global Vaccine Action Plan rubella and CRS elimination goals, RCV introduction needs to continue as country criteria indicating readiness are met, and rubella and CRS surveillance need to be strengthened to ensure that progress toward elimination can be measured.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Eradication*
  • Female
  • Global Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs
  • Immunization Schedule
  • Infant
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / prevention & control
  • Rubella / epidemiology
  • Rubella / prevention & control*
  • Rubella Syndrome, Congenital / epidemiology
  • Rubella Syndrome, Congenital / prevention & control*
  • Rubella Vaccine / therapeutic use
  • Young Adult


  • Rubella Vaccine