American Samoa ramps up immunisation efforts amid measles fears

American Samoa is ramping up its immunisation efforts, as the territory braces itself for the possibility of a measles outbreak.

On Thursday, Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga declared a public heath emergency meaning all travellers from Tonga and Samoa must show proof of MMR vaccination or immunity.

Although two health community centres at Leone and Amouli have been closed due to a nursing shortage, the Tafuna Community Health Center's hours have been extended and a local baby clinic is also administering shots.

The Department of Health's Aifili Dr John Tufa said immunisation was the best protection and was needed to keep the measles at bay.

"We are not in an outbreak situation until we do have our first case locally.

"The cases we are dealing with are travel associated and we are doing our best to contain it at this point. Measles is the most infectious disease known to man, it spreads very fast, so we are bracing ourselves. The best way for us to contain this is immunisation."