Measles vaccine comes as a dry powder. Before you can use it you must reconstitute it with measles diluent (see Module 7).
5.1 Position the child
Clothing should be removed from the child's left upper arm so that the measles vaccine can be injected there. (Some health workers use the right arm.)
If the injection is to be made into the child's left arm he or she should sit on the parent's lap as follows:
• The parent's left arm should be around the child, supporting her or his head and holding the left shoulder.
• The child's right arm should be tucked around the parent's body.
• The parent's right arm should hold the child's legs out of the way, and the parent's right hand should hold the child's left hand.
Figure 8-K: Holding child for measles immunization
5.2 Inject measles vaccine
You need a sterile 0.5 ml syringe and a sterile 25 mm, 22 gauge reusable needle or a 25 mm, 23 gauge single-use needle.
Figure 8-L: Measles syringe and needle
1) Hold the child's arm from underneath. Your fingers reach around and PINCH UP the skin.
2) Push the needle into the pinched-up skin. The needle should go in at a sloping angle, not straight down.
Figure 8-M: Needle position for measles immunization
3) Do not push the needle too far in.
4) To control the needle, support the end of the syringe with your thumb and finger while you push the needle in. Do NOT touch the needle itself.
Figure 8-N: Giving measles vaccine
5) Press the plunger with your thumb to inject the vaccine.
6) Withdraw the needle and press the site with cotton wool.
Remember about measles injections:
• Give 0.5 ml once at nine months of age.
• Protect reconstituted measles vaccine from heat and sunlight.
• Destroy reconstituted measles vaccine after six hours.