The development of the rubella vaccine and vaccination strategy in Japan was unique. Five rubella vaccines used in Japan were licensed, and the rubella vaccination program to schoolgirls was started in 1977. The measles-mumps-rubella vaccination to children, which was started in 1989, was terminated in 1993 due to the adverse effect of aseptic meningitis. In 1994, rubella vaccination to children, using the monovalent rubella vaccine, was restarted. Then, a new vaccination program, vaccinating twice by using the combined measles and rubella vaccine, was started in 2006. The increase in the rate of vaccination leads us to hope for the "Elimination of Rubella and Congenital Rubella Syndrome in 2012". © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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