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Okinawan women urged to get rubella vaccination

Date Posted: 2003-09-13

Okinawan health officials are urging women ages 15 ~ 24 to be sure they have a rubella vaccination. Officials say that if they donít, they can get one free of charge during the month of September. The law regulating rubella vaccinations was changed in 1995, when the age of children to be vaccinated changed from 13 to 16 years of age, and 1 to 7.5 years old. At that time, there were 12.5 million children between 7.6 and 17 but only 4.9 million got the vaccination.

Health officials say that if a woman does not have a vaccination and gets rubella during the pregnancy, the risk of serious birth defects in her babies is very high. They potentially include deafness and other hearing problems, heart problems and many others. According to officials at the Ministry of Health and Welfare, municipal offices are in the process of sending inquiries to all residents informing about the problem.

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