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Cook Islands suspends MMR vaccinations

11 July 2018

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

By Lisa Williams-Lahari - lisa.williams@pmn.co.nz

The Cook Islands Ministry of Health has suspended all injections of the MMR vaccine until the United Nations completes its enquiry into the recent post-vaccination deaths of two babies in Samoa.

Photo/ SLG.

Secretary for Health Dr Aumea Herman says the move is a precaution while the UN's World Health Organisation completes its enquiries.

The Cook Islands and Samoa are both supplied with MMR vaccine sourced via the United Nations Children's Fund.

Dr Herman says the temporary suspension will mean delays in vaccination for roughly ten Cook Islands babies for the next month or two.

"There's a good chance that we're looking at the same source but what's important is to try and identify the batch that's involved in this current incident in Samoa and ensure that we do not share the same batch," she says. 

"I suspect that we don't but we'll confirm that shortly."

Dr Aumea Herman. Photo/ PMN.

She says despite the wave of commentary online and through social media against vaccinations, there's massive evidence to support the benefits of the vaccinations for prevention and protection of epidemics and illness. 

"Our condolences go out to the Samoa and all the families involved," says Dr. Aumea.

Tags: Cook Islands, Health, MMR, vaccine,