Rapid effect on endemic measles, mumps, and rubella of nationwide vaccination programme in Finland

Lancet. 1986 Jan 18;1(8473):137-9. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(86)92270-1.


An immunisation programme to eliminate measles, mumps, and rubella from Finland within 10 years was started in November, 1982. A combined live vaccine is being given twice, at the ages of 14-18 months and 6 years, but at the beginning of the project children between these age limits are also being immunised. Because vaccinations are traditionally done by the public health nurses, special attention was paid to their motivation. 2.5 years after the launch of the project, 80.9% of the target children had been vaccinated. The incidence of measles has fallen by 93% and that of mumps by 87% compared with a normal prevaccination year (1982). A similar fall in incidence was seen for rubella, but only in the vaccinated age groups. Although elimination of measles, mumps, and rubella is not likely to be achieved with the present vaccination coverage, a drastic fall in the incidence of all three target diseases has occurred already. Every effort is being made to improve the coverage and thus to achieve the ultimate goal of the project.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Humans
  • Immunization Schedule
  • Infant
  • Measles / epidemiology
  • Measles / prevention & control*
  • Measles Vaccine / administration & dosage
  • Mumps / epidemiology
  • Mumps / prevention & control*
  • Mumps Vaccine / administration & dosage
  • Pregnancy
  • Public Health Nursing
  • Rubella / epidemiology
  • Rubella / prevention & control*
  • Rubella Vaccine / administration & dosage
  • Vaccination / methods*


  • Measles Vaccine
  • Mumps Vaccine
  • Rubella Vaccine