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DoH accepts any one of three options for entry during measles alert

A team from the local Dept. of Health - stationed at the Pago Pago International Airport
Says elderly are “immune” to measles

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A resident or non-resident of American Samoa who is 63-years old or older entering or departing to/ from Samoa or other places where there is a measles outbreak, are “immune” to measles and not required to provide proof of immunization shots.

This is according to the latest updated information from the Department of Health, which provided extended information on both arrivals and departing passengers to and from Samoa.


DoH said there are three acceptable requirements for “non-resident passengers” to entry and if not is met, the passenger will be denied entry into American Samoa.

The first one — which has been widely publicized — is that the person must present immunization record with completed shots.

The second one — in case there lacks records of immunization records — is the “official form”, from the Samoa Ministry of Health “stamped and signed” by Samoa’s Director General, Dr. Take Naseri or Dr. Robert Thomsen.

The third one — DoH says that according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), senior citizens born before 1957 or are 63 years and older are “considered immune and will not need MMR status.”

“Any one of these 3 requirements are acceptable or you will be denied entry,” said DOH.


DoH says the three requirements for arrival are still in effect, meaning those who are 63 years old and older are considered immune and will not need MMR shots, proof of MMR vaccine or obtain an MMR shot —  if not, they will be quarantined up to 14 days upon their return.

CDC on it’s website provides — among other things — details on MMR shots and measles. It also provides answers to questions, such as, “Who Does Not Need MMR Vaccine?” The response is that the person doesn’t need MMR vaccine if the person meets any of the several criteria “for presumptive evidence of immunity.”

In addition to the, “You were born before 1957,” it says, adding — in a footnote, that, birth before 1957 provides only presumptive evidence for measles, mumps, and rubella. Before vaccines were available, nearly everyone was infected with measles, mumps, and rubella viruses during childhood, and therefore are presumed to be protected against measles, mumps, and rubella.

However, it says, healthcare personnel born before 1957 without laboratory evidence of immunity or disease should consider getting two doses of MMR vaccine.

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