Measles Control and the Prospect of Eradication

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Remarkable progress has been made in reducing measles incidence and mortality as a consequence of implementing the measles mortality reduction strategy of the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The revised global measles mortality reduction goal set forth in the WHO-UNICEF Global Immunization Vision and Strategy for 2006–2015 is to reduce measles deaths by 90% by 2010 compared to the estimated 757,000 deaths in 2000. The possibility of measles eradication has been discussed for almost 40 years, and measles meets many of the criteria for eradication. Global measles eradication will face a number of challenges to achieving and sustaining high levels of vaccine coverage and population immunity, including population growth and demographic changes, conflict and political instability, and public perceptions of vaccine safety. To achieve the measles mortality reduction goal, continued progress needs to be made in delivering measles vaccines to the world's children.