The number of people infected by measles in Japan has already exceeded 100 this year and the total appears to be rising. Those born between 1977 and 1990 have been vaccinated against measles just once. Experts in infectious diseases say that at least two vaccinations are needed to attain immunity. That generation has been hit the hardest by measles this time.

Unless the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry overhauls its vaccination policy, measles is likely to become an epidemic at certain intervals. What the ministry must immediately do is to vaccinate those people who had only one vaccination.

In the event that diseases like measles and rubella become epidemics, the government has the power to give vaccination shots to people of all ages by importing vaccines from abroad, outside the framework of regular vaccinations for particular age groups. But the ministry has shown no signs of doing so.