Vaccination mandatory for seasonal workers
Vaccination is now mandatory for Samoans participating in the Australia and New Zealand seasonal workers scheme.
This was confirmed by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour when queried by the Samoa Observer on whether the Ministry is keeping track of the measles epidemic’s impact on those who meet the criteria to work in Australia and New Zealand.
The Ministry, in a written statement to this newspaper, said there are a lot of concerns as the epidemic continues to worsen.
But they are vigilant in their preparations for those who meet the criteria to fly down to Australia or New Zealand to work, and have since August this year started taking measures to minimise the threat of the virus on seasonal workers scheduled for deployment.
“The Ministry communicated with workers and team leaders who were preparing to depart for New Zealand and Australia, about the need to take necessary precautions and to get fully immunized,” the MCIL media release states.
“Prior to departure during pre-departure orientation workers and team leaders are again advised that they must ensure they have been vaccinated before departing. This approach was further enforced under the state of emergency declaration.”
The Ministry added that any worker who showed symptoms of measles were immediately advised by the Ministry’s Labour and Employment Programme that they cannot leave the country until they are cleared.
The same information was also relayed to the prospective employee in Australia and New Zealand. But if the worker is cured before their scheduled departure then they are cleared for deployment.
According to the Ministry, they have already had two cases of workers who displayed the symptoms measles, but they were immediately vaccinated and later given medical clearance by doctors.
Employers in both Australia and New Zealand have also provided medical support for Samoan workers when they arrive and if required.
This year Samoa deployed over 1,000 seasonal workers to New Zealand and over 700 to Australia.