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MMR vaccinations underway in American Samoa.

MMR vaccinations underway in American Samoa.
Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Monica Miller

The most recent measles case in American Samoa is an 8-year-old child who is thought to have actually contracted the virus locally.

Department of Health Epidemiologist Dr. Aifili John Tufa said they are still examining how the child contracted the measles virus.

The area has gotten a shipment of 8,000 vaccines from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Avoidance and is launching a mass vaccination program in towns tomorrow.

Tomorrow is the vaccination of workers of the StarKist Samoa cannery which has a labor force of 2,000

This past week just one measles presumed case was seen at the LBJ Healthcare facility and a blood sample is being sent to Hawaii for screening.

Dr. Tufa said while there is a measles break out, the area’s high vaccination coverage is believed to be what is slowing down the spread of the measles virus.

He likewise believes the fast action to limit entry at the borders has actually helped.

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