News Outlets Examine Measles Outbreak In Samoa, Factors Leading To More Than 70 Deaths Of Mostly Children
New York Times: ‘Why My Baby?’: How Measles Robbed Samoa of Its Young
“…That question has consumed Samoa as the epidemic has killed dozens of young children in the past two months and infected thousands more, leaving virtually no one in this nation of big families and communal living untouched. When measles arrived on its shores, Samoa was grievously unprepared. The government had left the door to contagion wide open, allowing the vaccination rate to fall to a staggeringly low level and putting thousands of children at risk. … Samoa is an acute example of how unfounded mistrust of vaccines and gaps in routine health care have led to a resurgence of measles around the world…” (Kwai, 12/19).
Vox: Tiny Samoa has had nearly 5,000 measles cases. Here’s how it got so bad.
“…According to the WHO, in 2018, [Samoa’s] national rate of coverage for a single dose of the measles-containing vaccine was only 31 percent — a halving from about 60 percent in 2016. That’s way too low for what’s known as herd immunity, or the percentage of people in a community that have to be vaccinated in order to keep the disease from spreading. With measles, around 95 percent of people need to be immunized in order to achieve herd immunity…” (Belluz, 12/18).