Samoa takes MMR vaccine after two babies die

The babies were taken to Safotu Hospital in Savai on Friday, where they died minutes after receiving the MMR vaccine, Television New Zealand reported.

"I have called for a full investigation of the circumstances that led to this devastating incident that I do not take lightly," he said.

"There are already processes that will determine whether negligence is a factor, and if so, be badured that those processes will be implemented to the letter to ensure that the tragedy does not happen again and that those responsible respond."

  Immunizations Fast facts

Leausa Take Naseri, director general of health, said that she has suspended the vaccination program until the investigation is completed. He also requested a forensic autopsy for the two babies, since the deaths are also being investigated by the police.

The hospital personnel involved were also removed for their own safety, Radio New Zealand reported.

"We are also concerned about the safety of our workers, especially the nurses who participated because it is now easily blamed – the finger points towards the nurses," Naseri said.

MMR vaccine

Vaccines prevent almost 6 million deaths worldwide each year, according to the World Health Organization. In countries that widely use vaccines, diseases such as measles have almost been eradicated, with a reduction of 99% in cases.

Generally administered in two doses in early childhood, the triple vaccine protects against three diseases: measles, mumps and rubella.

One dose is approximately 93% effective in preventing measles if the person is exposed to the virus, while two doses are approximately 97% effective, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). UU
  Dr. Sanjay Gupta: The benefits of vaccines are a matter of fact

"Most children in the world receive this vaccine or vaccines similar to this one", Helen Petousis-Harris, a vacunologist at the University of Auckland, told CNN. "We have safety data on the vaccine, we understand the effects really well, this type of cases is extremely rare."

In addition, he said, infant mortality has been reduced in many countries that use these vaccines.

"Each country has a vaccine program that has proven to be very safe," he added. " At the moment we have to understand what happened to be able to elaborate strategies that guarantee that it does not happen again, there are many things that we do not know about (deaths)"


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