5 Nov 2003

Measles vaccine arriving in Samoa in 3 days

5:00 pm on 5 November 2003

The Samoa Broadcasting Corporation says the vaccine needed for mass vaccinations against rubella, or German measles, will arrive in the country in three days.

The Corporation says there have been two deaths among one thousand one hundred and twelve reported cases to date.

The MR vaccine is being brought in by the United Nations from Denmark.

The Health Ministry has come under fire for not stocking the vaccine, or moving quickly to get it into Samoa after the rubella outbreak began in May.

But the Ministry says that rushed immunisation programmes have proved harmful in other countries.

Up to one hundred and thirty-five thousand people will be vaccinated by teams on Upolu and Savai'i Islands, with children and women the target groups.