Monday , October 18 2021

Pasifika fear vaccination after the death of babies in Samoa | 1 NEWS NOW


By Indira Stewart from

A doctor from southern Auckland said the death of two babies in Samoa, who died shortly after receiving the triple-shot viral vaccine last year, left many peaceful for fear of vaccinating despite urgent requests from the authorities to do so.

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service has confirmed 100 cases of measles, with a significant increase in the number of cases found in southern Auckland in just one week.

The Manukau DHB counties, where the largest Pacific population resides, are urging local residents to ensure they are protected.

Dr. Vaaiga Autagavaia, a locum in the Manukau counties district, says many people in the Pacific need to be properly informed about the risks of contracting the virus.

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Dr. Take Naseri says the nurses involved were removed from the "tense atmosphere" after the babies of Lameko and Lanna died.
Source: 1 NEWS

"There is a lot of fear among our community about vaccine safety and particularly in Samoa with the case last year where two children died after taking the vaccine," said Dr. Autagavaia.

He said that this is despite a recent announcement by the Samoa Ministry of Health saying that the deaths of these two babies were caused by nurses mixing the wrong liquid with the measles and rubella vaccine or MMR.

Dr Autagavaia said he is doing his best to assure the Pasifika staff that the vaccine is safe.

"It's a serious illness and we need the protection we can," he said.

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Alana-Rae and Jamie Ray Laulu are believed to have had a life-threatening immunodeficiency that affects one in a million children.
Source: 1 NEWS

"Especially our Pacific population in South Auckland and Maori, you should understand that everything has risks, but it's safe. And as health promoters we do not advise unless it's safe."

David Holland is the Clinical Director of Infection Services in Manukau Counties and he agreed,

"It's the very effective defense we have against a highly transmissible virus that will continue to be transmitted around a susceptible population unless we raise our vaccination rates," Holland said.

"Vaccination is very safe and provides the best protection."

According to DHB, the MMR vaccine is safe for everyone except pregnant women, babies and people with weakened immune systems due to other diseases, such as cancer.

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Dr. Sullivan said he should not take an epidemic to get people to take their shots.
Source: Breakfast

While the first measles vaccine for babies in the country's immunization record is scheduled for 15 months, Dr. Autagavaia said there is room for babies to receive the vaccine in 12 months if approved by their doctor.

Those who can not get the vaccine are at greater risk of serious illness or complications if they have measles and Dr. Autagavaia said that the only way to protect them is for all others who can be immunized to do so.

"It is extremely important," says Dr. Autagavia, "They are all vulnerable parts of our community, so those who can be vaccinated need to be vaccinated in order to be protected as much as possible.

The extent to which people can get sick with measles – it's a terrible disease when it reaches this stage, so the more we can prevent it, the better for our communities and our families. "

The counties-Manukau district has the largest population of the Pacific in the country, with many of its suburbs in the most deprived range.

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Hilary Barry and Jack Tame give their two cents for the display of an anti-vaccination film.
Source: Breakfast

Dr Autagavaia said that socioeconomic problems mean that just getting to a doctor for many in South Auckland is a challenge.

"Having a car in the first place is often something that many of our families do not have the resources to. So poverty and how our families live in the day to day means that simply going to the doctor is a challenge.

"There is support there and I think we need to encourage and help each other. If you are going to take your child to get checked or immunized, talk to your family, talk to your neighbors and say" Maybe we could go together. "

Dr. Autagavaia and Dr. Holland are encouraging everyone who may not be sure of their vaccination status to check in with their local doctor.

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