Samoa makes measles vaccine mandatory to stop deadly outbreak

WELLINGTON (AFP) – Samoa finalised plans for a compulsory measles vaccination programme yesterday, after declaring a state of emergency as a deadly epidemic sweeps the Pacific nation.

At least six fatalities, including five children, have been linked to the outbreak of the virus, which has also hit other island states such as Tonga and Fiji.

Samoa is the worst affected with more than 700 cases reported from across all areas of the country, prompting the government on Friday to invoke emergency powers.