“Samoa was finalising plans for a compulsory measles vaccination programme Monday, after declaring a state of emergency as a deadly epidemic sweeps the Pacific nation,” reports the International Business Times:
At least six fatalities, including five children, have been linked to the outbreak of the virus, which has also hit other island states such as Tonga and Fiji. Samoa is the worst affected with more than 700 cases reported from across all areas of the country, prompting the government on Friday to invoke emergency powers.
Declaring a state of emergency, the government said plans for compulsory measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) immunisations would be published on Monday. “MMR vaccinations for members of the public who have not yet received a vaccination injection is now a mandatory legal requirement for all of Samoa,” it said… Samoa has closed all schools, kindergartens and the country’s only university in a bid to halt the virus’ spread… Neighbouring Tonga last week announced government primary schools and kindergartens would be closed until later this month as the number of measles cases in the kingdom approaches 200.
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