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What's Behind the Measles Outbreak? (Japan)

This article was originally published in PharmAsia News

Executive Summary

The Japanese government is urging Japanese citizens who have not done so already to get immunization from measles, and also asking pharmaceutical companies in Japan to increase their production of the measles vaccine due to recent outbreaks of measles across Japan. Japan's Health Ministry says it has measles vaccines in stock for some 90,000 people, and has ordered about 500,000 more doses from pharmaceutical companies to be delivered by the end of June 2007. Between April 1 and May 26 this year, Japan has experienced week-long closures of 29 universities and 22 high schools because of measles outbreaks. These outbreaks are spreading among the teenage and early-20s population. Japan required mandatory measles vaccination from 1978 to 1994, and today around 90 percent of the population has received the vaccine. In April 2006, Japan passed an ordinance asking parents to inoculate their children twice from measles, once at age one, and again between the ages of five and seven. Japan's National Institute of Infectious Diseases says that as of May 20 this year, 286 people have been diagnosed with measles. This is the highest total in Japan since 2001. (Click here for more
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