Thursday, July 12, 2018

PRO/EDR> Measles update (42): Somoa, MMR vaccine recall

MEASLES UPDATE (42): SOMOA, MMR VACCINE RECALL
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A ProMED-mail post
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ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
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Date: Tue 10 Jul 2018
Source: MSN [edited]
<https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/samoa-recalls-vaccines-orders-full-investigation-after-two-baby-deaths/ar-AAzPts6>


Samoa has issued an immediate recall of the vaccine for mumps, measles
and rubella (MMR) following the deaths of 2 infants who reportedly
passed away just hours after receiving their shots. The 2 children, a
boy and a girl, were both aged about 12 months. They were not related,
came from different communities and were vaccinated on [Fri 6 Jul
2018] using the same batch of the MMR vaccine.

Australian forensic experts will fly into the country tonight to help
investigate the incident, which happened at the Safotu District
Hospital on the island of Savai'i.

In a statement, Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele expressed
condolences to the children's families and called for a full
inquiry."There are already processes that will determine if negligence
is a factor," Mr. Tuilaepa said. "And if so, rest assured those
processes will be implemented to the letter to ensure that such a
tragedy will not be repeated and those responsible will be made to
answer."

Health officials said testing was underway to see if the vaccine was
responsible, and it has been recalled nationwide as a precautionary
measure. The Government has called on the World Health Organisation
(WHO) for assistance. Rasul Baghirov, the WHO's Samoa Representative,
told the ABC's Pacific Beat program the situation was serious, but it
was too early to determine exactly what caused the deaths.

"These deaths are a tragedy and the Government is committed to
understanding exactly what happened, for the families of those
children, but also to ensure the ongoing safety of the immunisation
program," Dr Baghirov said.

He said the investigation would examine the vaccine itself, the
injecting equipment and the storage arrangements for the vaccine. The
training and conduct of staff would also be looked at, as well as the
medical history of the infants' families. An autopsy team from the
Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine in Melbourne will arrive in
Samoa tonight to assist the investigation.

Severe vaccine reaction 'very, very rare'. Dr Baghirov said there have
been no other reported cases of children dying after being vaccinated
using the batch supplied to Samoa.

The vaccines were from India, were safety checked by the WHO and
supplied by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

"The MMR immunisation is the best way to reduce a child's risk of
getting these highly infectious diseases," Dr Baghirov said. "It has
been used around the world for many years, providing more than 2
billion children with protection against these diseases. The severe
reaction following the administration of MMR vaccine is very, very
rare -- that's why we want to really investigate and find out what
caused the deaths here in Samoa."

UNICEF's Pacific Representative Sheldon Yett said it was important for
people concerned by the case to remember that vaccines are safe.

"Stopping immunisation would be a disaster for children in the South
Pacific and around the world," he said.

"It does make sense to pause, and do a complete investigation to know
what specifically happened here.

"But stopping immunisation of course would be a very wrong approach to
pursue here."

[Byline: Catherine Graue & Michael Walsh]

--
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail
<promed@promedmail.org>

[The very unfortunate death of these 2 infants should be investigated
immediately, but it is a mistake to completely stop vaccination, which
would result in more morbidity and possibly mortality. All vaccines
carry a minimal risk, which generally is mild and only very rarely
severe. It is not clear whether there were underlying conditions such
as a weakened immune system or allergies in these 2 infants that led
to complications from the MMR vaccine, or even whether the vaccine was
truly the cause of death. The enquiry will look into the vaccine
itself, equipment, storage of the vaccine and its administration. It
is important to monitor the safety of this very commonly used vaccine,
as appears to have been done by WHO in this case. Only a strong
monitoring program will reassure the public.

According to CNN report
(<https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/10/health/samoa-mmr-baby-deaths-intl/index.html>),
"Vaccines prevent almost 6 million deaths worldwide every year,
according to the World Health Organization. In countries that widely
use vaccines, diseases such as measles have been nearly eradicated,
with a 99 percent reduction in cases."

Typically given in 2 doses in early childhood, the MMR vaccine
protects against 3 diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella.

One dose is about 93 percent effective at preventing measles if the
person is exposed to the virus, while 2 doses are about 97 percent
effective, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC).

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Benefits of vaccines are a matter of fact.

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

Furthermore, she said, child mortality has gone down in many countries
that use these vaccines.

"Every country has a vaccine program that has been demonstrated to be
very safe," she added. "At the moment we need to understand what's
happened so we can work out strategies to ensure it doesn't happen
again. There's a lot we don't know about (the deaths)."
- Mod.LK

HealthMap/ProMED map available at:
Samoa: <http://healthmap.org/promed/p/2>]

[See Also:
Measles update (41): Americas, Europe, Pacific
http://promedmail.org/post/20180709.5895186
Measles update (40): Middle East, Europe, Americas
http://promedmail.org/post/20180704.5888315
Measles update (39): Americas, Europe, Pacific
http://promedmail.org/post/20180626.5876101
Measles update (38): Americas, Europe, Pacific
http://promedmail.org/post/20180624.5872709
Measles update (37): Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia
http://promedmail.org/post/20180621.5866860
Measles update (36): Europe, South America, Africa
http://promedmail.org/post/20180615.5858483
Measles update (35): Europe, Americas, Asia
http://promedmail.org/post/20180610.5848499
Measles update (34): Europe, Asia, Pacific
http://promedmail.org/post/20180606.5841052
Measles update (33): Asia, Africa, Europe, USA
http://promedmail.org/post/20180526.5820018
Measles update (32): Europe, Pacific, Asia
http://promedmail.org/post/20180524.5815287
Measles update (31): Asia, Africa, Europe, Americas
http://promedmail.org/post/20180514.5796699
Measles update (30): Americas, Asia, Africa, Europe
http://promedmail.org/post/20180510.5791951
Measles update (29): Europe, US, Pacific and Asia
http://promedmail.org/post/20180506.5787360
Measles update (28): Europe, Asia, Pacific, USA
http://promedmail.org/post/20180502.5780064
Measles update (27): South America, Asia, Europe, Africa, USA
http://promedmail.org/post/20180425.5767864
Measles update (26): Europe, Pacific, Asia, USA
http://promedmail.org/post/20180422.5761755
Measles update (25): Asia, Pacific, Africa, Middle East, Europe, USA
http://promedmail.org/post/20180419.5756685
Measles update (24): Europe, Mexico, South America, USA, Pacific
http://promedmail.org/post/20180415.5748939
Measles update (23): Asia, Pacific, Europe, USA, Africa
http://promedmail.org/post/20180413.5743280
Measles update (22): USA, South America, Europe, Pacific, epi update,
comment http://promedmail.org/post/20180409.5734358
Measles update (21): WHO, South America, Europe, Asia, Pacific, Africa
http://promedmail.org/post/20180406.5728515
Measles update (20): Europe, Pacific, Americas
http://promedmail.org/post/20180331.5720595
Measles update (19): Pacific, Americas, Europe, Asia
http://promedmail.org/post/20180324.5706015
Measles update (18): USA, Asia, Europe, South America, WHO, PAHO
http://promedmail.org/post/20180318.5694434
Measles update (17): Asia, Pacific, Africa, Europe
http://promedmail.org/post/20180314.5684766
Measles update (16): Asia & Pacific, Europe, South America
http://promedmail.org/post/20180307.5672342
Measles update (15): Europe, Asia, Pacific
http://promedmail.org/post/20180304.5663849
Measles update (14): Europe, Asia and Pacific, USA
http://promedmail.org/post/20180228.5655543
Measles update (13): Europe (France), USA (TX)
http://promedmail.org/post/20180224.5648197
Measles update (12): Africa, Europe, North America, Pacific
http://promedmail.org/post/20180218.5634900
Measles update (11): Pacific, Europe, USA
http://promedmail.org/post/20180214.5627038
Measles update (10): Europe, Pacific, South America, USA
http://promedmail.org/post/20180210.5620572
Measles update (09): Europe, Caribbean, Central America
http://promedmail.org/post/20180205.5606548
Measles update (08): Asia, Central America, North America, Europe
http://promedmail.org/post/20180201.5600423
Measles update (07): Africa, USA, Caribbean, Canada, Europe
http://promedmail.org/post/20180128.5589231
Measles update (06): Americas, Europe, Asia/Pacific
http://promedmail.org/post/20180123.5576951
Measles update (05): Europe, Pacific-Asia, USA
http://promedmail.org/post/20180118.5566770
Measles update (04): Europe, USA
http://promedmail.org/post/20180115.5561190
Measles update (03): Europe, Pacific, USA
http://promedmail.org/post/20180112.5556312
Measles update (02): Europe, South America
http://promedmail.org/post/20180109.5547446
Measles update (01): Asia, Europe
http://promedmail.org/post/20180105.5540575]
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