RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's Ministry of Health announced on Wednesday that it started a massive distribution of measles vaccine in the country in an attempt to contain the rising number of measles cases.
In the past three months, Brazil registered 1,226 new cases of measles, including 1,220 in Sao Paulo state, the most populated in the country. Since the beginning of the year, the number of cases has reached 1,388.
According to the ministry, 16 million doses of so-called triple vaccine were distributed to all states, including 6 million to Sao Paulo state alone. In addition to measles, the vaccine also immunizes against rubella and mumps.
Measles is a highly contagious virus which can be transmitted through coughing and sneezing.
According to the health ministry, the government made people aged between 20 to 29 a priority in the vaccination campaign as the majority of the cases registered in the country occurred in this age group.
In addition, the ministry also recommended that parents vaccinate their children before travelling to Sao Paulo state and other areas where cases of measles were registered.