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The geographical distribution of measles in Italy during the epidemic that occurred in 2002 (1) closely reflected the vaccination coverage distribution at provincial and regional level. Over recent years there had been an accumulation of susceptible children and adolescents. Estimates of the full impact of the 2002 epidemic are awaited although by July in one region there had been 13 cases of encephalitis and three deaths (1). To eliminate measles in Italy, it will be necessary to vaccinate more than 95% of children with two doses of vaccine and reduce older susceptibles with supplementary “catch-up” vaccination programmes. Also, as elimination gets closer, surveillance and the capacity to investigate epidemics must be improved.


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