One new death as vaccination numbers surge

The national death toll from the measles epidemic has risen by one to reach 63 cases as the Government says it has made major progress in the national vaccination rate.

The latest person to fall victim to the measles epidemic was a baby aged between 6 and 11 months, data released by the National Emergency Operation Centre (N.E.O.C.) this afternoon shows. 

Some 140 new infections were reported to the Government in the past day, raising the total number of people infected since a national epidemic was declared in mid-October to 4,357. 

But on Friday, the Government said there had been a major surge in the vaccination rate among key demographics recorcded in the past 24 hours.

The statistical rise follows the Government’s two-day shutdown of the nation which, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi said on Friday afternoon, resulted in 17,500 new vaccinations across the nation on Thursday alone. 

The N.E.O.C. said that there had been and 18 percentage point rise in the general rate of Samoa’s vaccination rate (which now stands at 74 per cent); the number of women aged between 20 and 35 also climbed 13 points to reach 98 per cent, the Government said. 

Rises of six and eight points respectively were registered among infants aged between 6 months and four years of age (82 per cent of whom are now said to have received vaccines) and children aged between five and 19 years of age (93 per cent of whom are vaccinated).

A total of 178 measles cases are currently receiving hospital treatment for measles, the Government says.   

Of these, 144 are at the national hospital at Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital;, two are at Poutasi District Hospital; one at Lalomanu District Hospital; 24 at the Leulumoega Rural District Hospital; three at the Malietoa Tanumafili II Hospital; two at Foailalo District Hospital; one at Sataua District Hospital; and one at Safotu District Hospital.  

The admissions include 20 critically ill children in Intensive Care Units and three pregnant women. 

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