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Lagging measles vaccinations a concern in Samoa

Source: Samoa Observer

Apia, SAMOA — The Samoa health chief is appealing to parents and guardians to get their children immunized with the measles, mumps, and rubella (M.M.R.) vaccinations, as well as the assistance of village councils and the Women's Committee to push for the vaccination campaign. 

The Health Ministry will be going out to the villages to get unvaccinated children up to date with their M.M.R. shots following due to recent measles cases in neighboring countries such as New Zealand and Australia. 

Director General of Health, Aiono Professor Alec Ekeroma said there were two suspected cases of measles two weeks ago at the Moto'otua Hospital. However, the samples were sent to New Zealand and both came back negative. 

"The pediatricians who studied the photos of the rashes while awaiting the tests did not think they were measles rashes," Aiono said. 

"I thought there would be a surge of mothers bringing babies forward for vaccination but that is not the case. The M.O.H. staff and nurses will now have to go out to the community to get children vaccinated."