2 Dec 2019

Samoa measles outbreak: Death toll reaches 53

From Checkpoint, 6:24 pm on 2 December 2019

Vaccinations in Samoa will be compulsory following the measles epidemic which has so far claimed 53 lives.

In the past hour, the Samoan Prime Minister has addressed the nation declaring the government will shut down this Thursday and Friday and vaccinations will be mandatory.

It follows New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters taking a similar line, telling Checkpoint the thought immunisations should be compulsory if it prevented international travellers transmitting the disease.

It's the sixth consecutive day the death toll has gone up, with children making up 48 of the 53 who have died.

Another 19 children remain in a critical condition in intensive care.

And as MacKenzie Smith reports, experts are blaming an ill-informed anti-vaccination movement for the crisis.