Mexico City – The Mexican government plans to purchase 3.6 million doses of measles vaccine, responding to the first case of the disease detected in the country since early 2007.
"We must act very quickly because of the speed with which it spreads," Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova told a press conference.
Vaccination stations will set up at hospitals and clinics as well as at Mexico City's international airport. The vaccine will be offered to all Europe-bound flyers over the next 20 days, while airport employees are required to get shots.
Mexico's last indigenous case of measles was 14 years ago and the new infection was carried by a visitor from France.
Authorities recommend measles vaccinations for children under 11 who were never vaccinated and for people between the ages of 12 and 39 who received an initial vaccination, but no subsequent booster shot.
The government expects to vaccinate around 2 million people and the extra doses will be used for ongoing vaccination campaigns, Cordova said.
He emphasized that around 95 percent of Mexican children receive vaccinations.
Around 1,500 Mexico City airport workers have already received shots and authorities are trying to track down the other passengers who arrived on the same flight as the French girl.
Cordova received plaudits for his handling of the 2009 swine-flu epidemic in Mexico. EFE