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By contrast, in Greece (where immunisation for rubella started around 1975) vaccination coverage remained low for a long time.

It remained consistently below 50% for about 15 years (until 1990).

The slide shows the results of several studies on vaccination coverage identified in a systematic review (at the time there was no national system to monitor vaccination coverage).

This low coverage was the result of inconsistent immunisation policies. Around 1975, the rubella and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccines became commercially available in Greece. Vaccination with MMR at the age of 1-2 years started in the private sector only, without any officially stated policy. It was only in 1989 that vaccination with MMR in the second year of life was included in the National Immunisation Programme and the vaccine became available in the public sector as well.

Moreover, no policy to vaccinate susceptible women of childbearing age was implemented.