Samoa Measles Outbreak Death Toll Reaches 68; Nearly 90% Of Eligible People Vaccinated, Officials Say

Reuters: Samoa says almost 90% of people vaccinated against measles after deadly outbreak
“Samoa said on Saturday nearly 90% of eligible people had been vaccinated against measles as it lifted a two-day curfew imposed amid an outbreak that has killed 65 in recent weeks. There were, however, 103 new cases of measles reported since Friday, Samoa’s Health Ministry said it a statement…” (Kelly, 12/6).

VOA: Samoa’s Measles Death Toll Rises to 68
“Samoa said Sunday its death toll from measles has risen to 68, with three fatalities recorded in the previous 24 hours. The Health Ministry has confirmed 4,581 cases of the disease. Most of the victims have been young children…” (12/8).

Washington Post: If the U.S. had Samoa’s current level of measles cases, there would now be more than 7 million infected Americans
“…Whereas flawed health-care systems have been associated with surges in measles cases in some countries, the key reason for Samoa’s woes appear rooted in recent anti-vaccine activism, which pushed vaccination rates to dangerously low levels, partially because two nurses mixed vaccines with liquid muscle relaxant instead of water, which caused the deaths of two infants there in 2018. Even though the two responsible nurses were sentenced to prison, the country’s immunization coverage dropped below 40 percent that year, amid mounting distrust in government vaccination programs…” (Noack/Berger, 12/6).

Additional coverage of the measles outbreak in Samoa is available from ABC and Washington Post.