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Sunday, December 29, 2019

Samoa Lifts State of Emergency

From BBC:
Samoa has lifted a six-week state of emergency, which was put in place amid a measles epidemic that killed 81 people and infected more than 5,600.
Just 200,000 people live on the South Pacific island nation, and vaccination rates are far lower than in neighbouring countries.
Most of those killed in the outbreak were babies and young children.
Infection rates slowed earlier this month after a vaccination drive pushed immunisation rates towards 95%.
Globally, measles cases are on the rise - including in the US and Germany - as parents forego life-saving vaccines because of false, repeatedly debunked theories linking childhood immunisation with autism.
Prominent anti-vaxxer Edwin Tamasese was arrested in Samoa earlier this month and charged with incitement against a government order.

Mr Tamamese had posted false theories about measles on Facebook, and instead promoted the use of ineffective remediesEmerg to treat the deadly illness - such as using papaya leaf extract and vitamin C.

He also called the government's vaccination programme "the greatest crime against our people".