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More Samoans to get measles vaccinations as immunisation age restrictions lifted

As Samoa's measles epidemic worsens, the Samoan Government has been working with telecommunication companies in the country to this morning send out a mass vaccination alert to cellphones.

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The Samoan Government has been working with telecom companies to send out the alert. Source: Breakfast

Red Cross New Zealand's Karen Page told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning from Samoa that everyone with a cellphone in the Pacific island nation received the alert between 7 and 7:30am this morning to say that teams are now vaccinating everybody up to the age of 60 - something they hadn't been doing until now.

"They were always planning to but of course they had to target the most at risk groups which were the very young children and young adults," says Ms Page. 

"It's great that they’re communicating like that because everyone in the whole country has got the message that that's what we are doing now so that's fantastic." 

The latest figures out yesterday revealed the measles death toll had risen to 48, with four deaths occurring over the weekend.

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Death toll from Samoan measles crisis rises to 48 as total number of cases soar

Samoa’s Ministry of Health confirmed to date, a total of 3,530 cases have been recorded since the outbreak started in October.