Samoa measles crisis: Over 50% children in vulnerable age group yet to be vaccinated

The latest statistics from the Ministry of Health and the National Emergency Operation Center show that over 50% of the 29,000 children identified by health authorities in the most Vulnerable Group (6 months to 4 years old) have yet to be vaccinated.

And the latest statistics as of Monday this week shows that of the 53 measles-related mortalities 48 are children from 6 months to 4 years old.

By December 1st, Monday this week 9,412 children in the age group have received their vaccination injection since the Mass Campaign was launched on 20th November.

From the Campaign, 7,561 vaccine doses were injected for children under 4 years old in Upolu and 1,851 doses for Savaii children in the same age group.

Prior to the Mass Vaccination, 4,222 others had their injections administered by the Ministry of Health for a total of 13,634 reflecting over 15,300 children yet to be vaccinated.
And Cabinet after reviewing the numbers Monday  approved a Mass Scale Vaccination drive mobilizing the Public Servants to assist.

“In this regard, I wish to announce that the public service and all government services will be closed from Thursday 5th-6th December in order to allow all public servants to assist with the mass vaccination campaign throughout the country except for the utilities (Water and Electricity),” said Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi in his State Address this evening.

A programme will be published for the information of the public.
“Let us work together to encourage and convince those that do not believe that vaccinations are the only answer to the epidemic,” urged the Prime Minister.

“ Let us not be distracted by the promise of alternative cures. Measles is not a new disease to Samoa and rarely claimed lives,” he continued “We need to understand the following issues:

  • Vaccination is the only cure
  • If affected cases are presented early for treatment, full recovery should be expected
  • No traditional healers or kangen water preparations can cure measles.”

Aside from the Fixed Sites and Special Booths set up stragetigally across Savaii and Upolu providing vaccinations, NEOC has also increased it Mobile Clinics to get to isolated families to 50 clinics.

Thirty-one are deployed around Upolu with 11 in Savaii.


 Photo Samoa Govt Media