Measles vaccination

Samoa to make measles vaccination compulsory

Parliament passed the Infants Amendment Bill 2019 on Wednesday.

Dubbed by prime minister as the 'Law of Compassion', it was rushed through Parliament under urgency.

It comes as the death toll reached 76, most of whom are young children.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said the law would allow for stiff penalties for those who did not adhere to the compulsory vaccination law.

School principals stand to be fined up to $US3700 if they allow a child to be registered in school who has not been immunised.

UN agencies tell Pacific to vaccinate against measles

They said this should to happen before travelling internationally, attending major events or community gatherings.

Vaccination provided the best protection against measles and parents should get their children immunised, the agencies said.

In October, Samoa and Tonga both declared measles outbreaks.

Both UNICEF and the WHO said they were continuing to provide resources to Pacific states to respond to the measles threat.