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Thousands vaccinated in mass immunisation campaign in Samoa

Tens of thousands of people in Samoa received the MMR vaccine in a mass immunisation campaign which took place over two days.

Source: 1 NEWS

It took 102 teams across the whole country to undertake the enormous task of reaching as many unvaccinated people as possible in two days.

The Samoan government says nearly 33,000 vaccinations were administered over the two day campaign with over 20,000 of them carried out on Thursday and over 12,000 yesterday.

In the last 24 hours the deadly epidemic has claimed two more lives, taking the death toll to 65.

Before the mass vaccination campaign just over 52,000 Samoans were immunised. Following the campaign 178,661 out of a population of 200,879 are now vaccinated bringing the immunisation rate to 89 per cent.

To carry out this mass operation the government shut down the country for two day from 7am to 5pm to enable medical teams to go door-to-door.

Families put out red flags to indicate to teams that members of their household were not vaccinated.

As it is now compulsory to be vaccinated in Samoa most residents obeyed the call to be vaccinated.

Samoan government says one household had up to 13 members unvaccinated when a medical team arrived while in another household the mother refused to vaccinate her children but was convinced by the medical team to immunise.

At one household where a team arrived two children were taken to hospital with measles. 1 News' Pacific correspondent Barbara Dreaver was at the there and you can watch her full story here. 

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Correspondent Barbara Dreaver found children in need of urgent medical care. Source: 1 NEWS

Those who weren't able to be vaccinated in the two day campaign have been noted and will be followed up by Samoan's Ministry of Health.

Samoa's measles epidemic has claimed the lives of over 60 people, mainly children, and have infected thousands more.