The Government of Samoa has taken a level up approach to address the ongoing battle with the measles outbreak that has now claimed 55 lives, amongst them 23 babies under 12 months and 27 children between 1 and 4 years.
In a public notice issued this morning the Government confirms that teams of vaccinators would be going from door to door, with the aim of covering every family in Samoa.
“In response to the current measles outbreak, the Government of Samoa will be undertaking a ‘Door to Door Mass Vaccination Campaign’ on Thursday 5th and Friday 6th December 2019 from 7am to 5pm throughout the whole country”.
Public movement for those 2 days has been restricted through State of Emergency Orders prohibiting unauthorised vehicles on the roads and the closure of all businesses.
“All public and private sectors will be closed on the above mentioned dates from 7am to 5pm to ensure a good coverage of the vaccination plan”.
The public is advised to tie a red cloth or red flag in front of their houses and near the road to indicate that family members have not been vaccinated.
“The red mark makes it easier for the teams to identify households for vaccinations”.
Please share these community messages to ensure an effective and successful door to door campaign for Samoa.
Samoa’s battle with the measles outbreak has been fuelled by it’s extremely low coverage of MMR vaccinations.
The Minsitry of Health had put a hold on MMR vaccinations from July 2018 to April 2019 following a tragic incident where two nurses mistakenly mixed anaesthetic in an MMR vaccine causing the death of two babies in Safotu, Savaii.
The World Health Organisation warning states that, “Measles is caused by a virus and can lead to serious complications including pneumonia and inflammation of the brain that can cause permanent damage and be deadly, especially in small children”.