Guam’s Micronesian neighbors are taking a proactive stance against a new health challenge — an outbreak of measles that has affected several areas in the Pacific region.
In the Federated States of Micronesia, the national government is about to embark on a massive vaccination campaign prioritizing the outer islands to prevent a measles outbreak, such as the one currently affecting the Independent State of Samoa and other Pacific island nations.
For the campaign, officials determined that the FSM national government would need around $500,000 to support immunization activities and to close the gap in terms of MMR vaccine requirements.
At present, the FSM has around 3,000 doses of MMR — which is the vaccine against measles, mumps, and rubella — and approximately 15,000 doses are required to implement a mass vaccination campaign.
Meanwhile, in the Marshall Islands, the government’s ministry of health and human services has issued an international travel advisory requiring those who are traveling from or entering the Marshalls to get immunized and provide proof of vaccination.
According to a release from UNICEF, the Asia Pacific is the latest region to be affected by the outbreak, where measles is being reported even in places where the disease had been supposedly eliminated.