- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 12, 2019

The Samoan Ministry of Health has vaccinated more than 90% of eligible people against measles to combat the ongoing outbreak, as of Wednesday.

The measles epidemic has taken the lives of 72 people and infected nearly 5,000 others on the Pacific islands. More than 1,500 people with measles have been hospitalized since the outbreak started.

Samoa’s government shut down earlier this month so that all public workers can assist with the country’s mass measles vaccination campaign. Only workers involved in providing utilities like water and electricity were exempt from the vaccination effort.

“Vaccination is the only cure,” Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi had said in a video statement.

Last month, the government declared a national emergency and mandated that all 200,000 people living there get vaccinated.

Samoan authorities believe the outbreak started by a traveler from New Zealand.

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