The Director General of the Ministry of Health, Tole’afoa Dr. Take Naseri, says human error is suspected over the deaths of two toddlers who died after they were administered the MMR vaccine in Savai’i.
Toleafoa revealed this during an interview with Newshub.
“Well, from what I gather it is human error,” he said.
It’s believed the vaccine may have been contaminated or was not prepared properly.
Autopsies have been completed, but Tole’afoa says the results have not been released publicly because more tests are needed.
“We are not hiding anything and we are not trying to make excuses. With this type of tragedy, we wouldn’t want to rush.”
In the meantime, Samoa’s MMR program remains on hold and public confidence in the health system has been severely shaken.
“There are a lot of people who are against vaccinations. There is a school of thought that they don’t need vaccinations,” Dr Naseri says. “It is not helping us in any way.”
In the meantime, a nurse has been charged with manslaughter, negligence and perverting the course of justice over the deaths at Safotu.
The nurse hasn’t entered a plea to the charges, but she has been released from custody.