Measles and Rubella Initiative Fact Sheet
The Measles & Rubella Initiative (M&RI) is working with countries, partners and
parents to create a world free from measles and rubella.
- Over 140,000 people lost their lives to measles in 2018, most were children.1
- Measles causes a rash, trouble breathing and flu- like symptoms. It may also cause more serious complications like severe diarrhea, dehydration, pneumonia, brain damage or even death.
- Measles infection leads to loss of immunity to other deadly diseases.
- 1 person with measles can infect 12-18 people, making it the most infectious —yet vaccine preventable —disease.
- 9 out of 10 susceptible people (unvaccinated/have not had measles) who are exposed to measles will get sick.
- A safe and affordable vaccine has prevented measles for over 50 years.
Rubella (German Measles)
- Rubella is a leading cause of preventable birth defects, caused by a viral infection during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.
- A woman infected with rubella in early pregnancy can suffer a miscarriage or has up to a 90 per cent chance of giving birth to a baby with Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS).
Babies born with CRS may have multiple birth defects, including heart disorders, blindness, deafness or brain damage.
#VACCINESWORK to Protect Against Measles and Rubella
- The Measles & Rubella Initiative (M&RI) is working with countries, partners, parents and caregivers to create a world free from measles and rubella.
- We are committed to eliminating measles in every region of the world, even as we combat the COVID-19 pandemic and work to minimize its impact.
- M&RI efforts are saving millions of lives each year by protecting children and families from serious, yet preventable, diseases.
- 5.5 billion doses of measles vaccine have been delivered to children since 2000.
- Measles vaccines have saved more than 23 million lives since 2000.
- Two recommended doses of measles and rubella vaccine cost less than $2 per child.
- Vaccinating against measles and rubella produces huge rewards; every $1 invested in the measles vaccine yields a $58 return!
Measles Moves Fast, We Must Move Faster!
- Many measles and rubella vaccination campaigns scheduled in 2020 have been interrupted or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- As of June 2020, over 178 million people are at risk of missing out on measles vaccine due to paused campaigns to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
- Many of these children live in countries with ongoing measles outbreaks.
- Measles cases skyrocketed from 2017 to 2019 with outbreaks happening in 7 measles-free countries.3
- To win the fight against measles and rubella, we must reach every child with 2 doses of measles and rubella vaccine and respond quickly to outbreaks wherever they occur.
Reaching a world without measles and rubella requires political and financial commitment from every country to ensure high quality vaccines reach every child.