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Samoa shuts down for second day as fight against deadly measles epidemic continues

The second day of a mass mobilisation across Samoa to vaccinate its citizens against measles is underway.

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1 NEWS’ Pacific Correspondent spoke with Afamasaga Lepuiai Rico Tupai on the morning of December 6. Source: Breakfast

Teams of Samoan medical personnel and a large international contingent including New Zealanders gathered at 7am (local time) to head out in vehicles to canvas the districts looking for unvaccinated residents.

Families have been placing red material of any kind outside their homes as a signal to medical teams that members of their family are unvaccinated.

Source: 1 NEWS

A Government shutdown was issued earlier this week for yesterday and today to allow teams to reach as many individuals as possible.

Now compulsory to be vaccinated, people stayed at home from 7am to 5pm yesterday as businesses, public services and roads were closed for the two day shut down.

Once individuals have been seen and vaccinated, they receive a mark on their left hand. They are then logged as being vaccinated and that data information is electronically sent to the monitoring team back at the emergency centre in Apia.

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The colour red hung up at homes across the island nation to signify residents who haven't been vaccinated with medical teams are racing door-to-door in a mass campaign. Source: 1 NEWS

The deadly outbreak of measles has left Samoa in a state of emergency.

The latest figures show over 60 people, mostly children, have died as a result of the disease and thousands have been infected.

Yesterday's mass vaccination effort saw and estimated 10,000 people vaccinated which would bring the total of inoculated to over 60,000.