Cook Islands lift hold on MMR vaccine, after deaths of two babies in Samoa

The Cook Islands has lifted a hold on its mumps, measles and rubella (MMR) vaccine programme after the deaths of two Samoan babies.

Babies Lameko and Lanna died at the same hospital last week, within three minutes of receiving the vaccine. Source: 1 NEWS

The two infants died in Savaii two hours apart just minutes after receiving the vaccine.

Two one-year-olds died within two hours of each other at the same hospital in Apia, just minutes after getting the MMR vaccine. Source: 1 NEWS

The World Health Organisation and UNICEF officials are in Samoa helping the Government with its investigation.

Cook Islands Secretary of Health Dr Aumea Herman had told the Pacific Media Network the move is a precautionary one as it gets its MMR vaccine from the same supplier as Samoa – the UN Children’s fund.

The hold has since been lifted, after it was confirmed the batch in the Cook Islands was different to that supplied to Samoa.

The Cook Islands has a 100 percent MMR vaccination rate and around ten babies are due for their MMR immunisations in the next two months.