Five Children in Samoa Succumb to Deadly Measles Virus

The Government to Roll Out Mandatory Vaccination Programme

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Five children and an adult have been confirmed dead in Samoa following a measles outbreak. The government has since declared a state of emergency and is planning to conduct a compulsory measles vaccination.

The deadly disease is reported to have spread to other islands including Fiji and Tonga. About 700 cases have been reported across the country.

The government was expected to publish plans compulsory measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) immunization.  A national emergency operations centre would be set up to coordinate the immunization programme.

Schools, kindergartens and a university remained closed in an effort to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

New Zealand has pledged to send 12 nurses and 3,000 MMR doses to the island state to help mitigate the disaster.