Samoa measles epidemic - unvaccinated households told to tie red flags to homes

The Samoan government is urging households who aren't vaccinated against measles to tie a red cloth or red flag to the front of their houses.

The authorities want to make it easier for teams carrying out a door to door mass vaccination campaign on Thursday and Friday to identify households who need vaccinated.

 The country's expected to shut down for those two days while the campaign is carried out.

 The latest measures come as the number of measles-related deaths continue to rise.

 Yesterday the Samoan government said 55 people had died from measles, by far the majority of them children under four.

 Another update is expected from them early this afternoon.

 Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has been touring hospitals dealing with the epidemic.

 He said he would not settle for anything less than 90 per cent vaccination coverage not just for the children but across the board.

 “Our children and people will never become immune to any future epidemic unless unless we have almost 100 percent vaccination coverage.

“It’s the only antidote.”