Measles Vaccinations

Relaunch of MMR in Samoa a huge task - Health Ministry

Ministry director Leausa Dr Take Naseri said once ministry staff realised human error was behind the vaccine-related deaths of two infants in 2018, the health system had to overhaul its processes.

The two one-year-old babies died after receiving doses of the MMR vaccine, which were incorrectly mixed with an expired anaesthetic.

The deaths prompted Samoa to suspend all vaccination for three months and damaged public trust in vaccines across the region.

Parents urged to vaccinate children against measles in Cooks

Heads of health from Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Niue, Tokelau and the Cook Islands attended the Polynesian Health Corridors Dialogue in Auckland on Friday.

Director of Health in the Cook Islands, Dr Josephine Aumea Herman, said there had been three new cases of measles in the country.

Parents had been told of the importance of vaccinating their babies and the consequences if they didn't.

"We know about these in terms of developing brain swelling or Encephalitis [inflammation of the brain].