Vaccination sites in residential areas with large populations like Vaitele-uta are drawing in big crowds for injections.
At the residence of the Vaitele – uta EFKS Church Minister, close to 100 people from 6 months old babies upwards turned up willingly to be vaccinated.
The fear factor is largely credited for ushering in large crowds ready and eager to take the offered medication to protect against the measles epidemic.
Ms. Soli Lealofi is a mother of two who needed no persuasion. Her one-year-old baby has not been vaccinated except for her two year old who has one more injection left to go.
“I don’t have the financial means at home so I have to take advantage of this opportunity to have my children vaccinated,” Lealofi gratefully acknowledged.
“My one year old child has not received any vaccination because I was too afraid after the death of the two babies last year.
“I believed I made a good choice then but it has come now back to haunt my anxious levels with reports starting to come out of more than 10 babies who have died from the measles.”
Lealofi talked about keeping her children inside the house at all times, fearful catching the measles virus if they play outside.
“ I fear for the lives of my children and I pray to God for his protection on them.”
For a strong healthy 18-year-old Esera Eliapo of neighbouring Falelauniu village, he was determined to have an injection.
“ My mother passed away but I’m not sure if I did had my MMR injections when I was a baby.”
Eliapo is comparing the measles epidemic to the influenza that killed 20 per cent of the population in Samoa in 1918.
‘I have seen some of my friends with measles and it’s scary to see the pain they’re in, at the same time too I feel for the children who have died so far.”
Since the outbreak, he has quit his rugby, stayed mostly indoors at home and not even tempted to go for a walk and take in the cool fresh breeze.
“I’m told the virus is carried by the air so better play it safe and not tempt fate.”
The Vaitele to Falelauniu village settlements are among the most heavily populated in the urban areas.
Administration sites are set up in many of the selected location inside the residential area as one of the main health strategies to cover more people quickly.