The Australian Measles Control Campaign was initiated in August 1998 as part of the World Health Organisation's global Measles eradication program, and in response to major epidemics in Australia throughout 1994/95, together with a report predicting another impending measles epidemic in Australia. The campaign vaccinated 1.78 million children, making it the largest national vaccination campaign conducted in Australia since the introduction of poliomyelitis vaccination in 1956.
The campaign was promoted using the slogan ''Let's Work Together to Beat Measles''
Following the World Health Organization's adoption of a 2010 target date for Global Measles eradication and the notation that a single dose vaccination strategy was ineffective, the Federal Health Department began investigating the options for a measles eradication campaign in Australia. In 1996 and 1997, seroserveys were conducted in South Australia and New South Wales to assess the current levels of measles immunity. Results indicated that there were "probably enough susceptible children in the South Australian population to support a measles epidemic". In November 1997, a workshop of experts was formed to discuss the logistical, funding and surveillance issues of a potential measles elimination campaign. The group concluded that the 2nd dose of MMR should be brought forward from 12 years to 4 years (in line with WHO recommendations), and that a school-based campaign be implemented.〔 Three groups would be targeted for vaccination:
* Primary School children(5-12yrs): This group would be offered vaccination at school-based clinics, to be provided by two Registered Nurses per school.
* Pre-school children (1-4yrs): Letters would be sent to the parents of all children who were overdue for their 1st dose of MMR, encouraging them to attend their GP for vaccination.
* High-School children (12-18yrs): A letter would be sent to all parents encouraging them to ensure their children had received two doses of MMR.
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