African Journal of
Pharmacy and Pharmacology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pharm. Pharmacol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0816
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPP
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 2272


The role of vaccines in elimination and global eradication of measles- a review of literature

I. O. Okonko 1*, B. A. Onoja1 , A. O. Adedeji2, A. A. Ogun3 , A. O. Udeze4, J. Ejembi5 , K. N. Garba1 , O. C. Egun6  and A. Fowotade7    
1Department of Virology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria, World Health Organization Collaborative Centre for Arbovirus Reference and Research, World Health Organization Regional Reference Polio Laboratory, World Health Organization National Reference Centre for Influenza. National HIV Reference Laboratory. 2Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. 3Department of Epidemiology, Medical Statistics and Environmental Health, Faculty of Public Health, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria 4Virology Unit, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria. 5Department of Clinical Microbiology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria. 6Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. 7Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 23 July 2009
  •  Published: 30 September 2009


This review summarizes the role of vaccines in elimination and global eradication of measles-a review of literature. Measles eradication is defined as the interruption of measles transmission worldwide as a result of deliberate efforts; intervention methods may no longer be needed. It represents the sum of successful elimination efforts in all countries. Indeed, measles transmission has been interrupted in several countries, reinforcing the view that measles eradication is technically feasible using existing vaccines, laboratory techniques and intervention strategies. However, measles still accounts for 10% of global mortality from all causes among children aged less than 5 years (That is, approximately 1 million deaths annually). Vaccination proper coverage is key indicator of campaign success and to predict control on measles. In Nigeria where there is perennial, low routine vaccination coverage and where the quality of the mass immunization campaign is not high enough, large and persistent measles outbreaks continue to occur with high morbidity and mortality. Immunization and vaccination remains one of the most cost effective strategies to prevent infectious diseases. However, the most effective and efficient way to protect the health of children is by immunization before the risk of disease arises. Vaccination has succeeded in eradicating small pox in the world, soon would be achieved with polio and measles will be next to reach the same degree of disease control (viz, worldwide eradication) as has occurred with smallpox. The efficacy of vaccination and immunization in reducing the incidences of several diseases is clearly shown by the success story of measles control in developed countries of the world. However, intensified efforts are necessary to implement appropriate control and elimination strategies, including supplementary vaccination campaigns, expansion of routine vaccination services, and surveillance.


Key words: Antibody, elimination, eradication, immunization, measles, measles virus, measles vaccine, vaccination.