Samoa Measles Outbreak: Death Toll Rises To 53, Mostly Children

More than 3,700 cases of measles have been recorded in the islands’ population of about 200,000, with 198 new cases reported between Sunday and Monday.1

The government said on Dec. 2 that most deaths were those under the age of four, including 23 babies who were less than 12 months old. Of the total deaths, 50 involved children under the age of 15.1

Samoa has become vulnerable to measles outbreaks as the number of people becoming immunized has declined with the World Health Organisation (WHO) saying vaccine coverage is just about 31%. UNICEF has recently delivered over 260,000 measles vaccines to Samoa along with Fiji and Tonga, two other Pacific Island countries that are also facing measles outbreaks.2

Samoa’s government is taking the unusual step of shutting down on Thursday and Friday this week so as all public sector workers can help with the country’s mass measles vaccination campaign.3

1. Samoa measles outbreak: Death toll rises to 53, mostly children Al Jazeera

2. Samoa Measles Outbreak Toll Getting Worse Forbes

3. Samoa govt to shut down this week for vaccination campaign RNZ

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