Government continues vaccination campaign

The Government's mass vaccinatiom campaign is continuing.

A notice issued on Saturday informed the public that the campaign was continuing including with new locations available to receive vaccinations.

The clinics will be held in 23 locations starting Monday, December 16 and Tuesday, December 17, from 9am to 3pm. 

They will be hosted in the village Church facilities.

The Disaster Advisory Committee has advised all individuals from families who have not been vaccinated to make use of the opportunity. 

The clinics will be located in villages including, Alafua, Aleisa, Elise Fou, Faleula, Leauvaa, Malie, Moamoa, Nu'u Fou, Sinamoga, Siusega, Talimatau, Toamua Uta, Vailoa Faleata, Vaimoso, Vaitele Fou, Vaitele Tai, Vaitele Uta, Vaitoloa and Vaiusu.

Samoa’s efforts to vaccinate the population has been dubbed as an historical achievement by computational epidemiologist Dr. Chris von Csefalvay.

According to the Government, 93 per cent of the "eligible" population has been immunised so far. At least half were vaccinated between two or three weeks ago and should have built up immunity to the virus in the intervening period.

Dr. von Csefalvay has been studying outbreaks for much of his career. He said despite the 72 lives lost, the immense response to the measles epidemic, which to date has infected nearly 2.5 per cent of the population, should be commended. 

But while fatalities and new cases have been slowing down during the week, Chairman of the National Disaster Advisory Committee, Ulu Bismarck Crawley, has cautioned against complacency in the nation's fight against the measles epidemic.  

“We cannot say that fatalities have slowed down,” Ulu told the Samoa Observer. 

On Saturday afternoon, Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, announced that the national state of emergency will not be lifted until December 29. 

The decision to extend the special conditions, Tuilaepa said, is based on the National Emergency Operations Centre Chairman Ulu Bismark Crawley and the need for immunisation programmes to continue for public safety.

"We need to reach the 100 percent vaccination for the country and so far we have reached 92 per cent of vaccination," Tuilaepa said.

"To date 579 children under 18 years have not been vaccinated and hence the need to continue the S.O.E."

To date, there were no measles related deaths in the past 48 hours, while new infections dropped to just 74. 

It is the second day in a row without a death, and the report suggests two critically ill children in the Intensive Care Units have been discharged, leaving just 16 in care.

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