The Samoa Police Service has confirmed this afternoon that a second nurse has been charged with manslaughter in relation to the MMR vaccine investigation at Safotu district hospital in Savaii on Friday 6 July.
Police statement says the 52-year-old female nurse was arrested and charged last night. She has been remanded at liberty this morning on the condition that she surrender her travel documents and reports into Savaii’s Vaitoomuli police post every Friday.
She is scheduled to appear in the Supreme Court briefly on the 27 August.
The police investigation continues.
This follows the sudden deaths of one year old baby infants Lannah Callysta Samuelu and Lameko Siu six weeks ago in separate vaccination sessions at Safotu on the same day.
Baby Lannah died in the morning soon after receiving the MMR vaccine. Baby Lameko died in the afternoon, minutes after receiving the vaccination. Nurses at Safotu attempted resusitation on both infants.
The parents have since lodged a formal police complaint against the nurses whom they accuse of murder, based on their account on Wednesday 25 July in Savaii on the day that the Inquest was initially scheduled.
The World Health Organisation is providing support to the Health Ministry’s medical investigation which includes testing the remaining doses in the vials at Safotu which was being tested outside of the country. The health investigation also includes reviewing how the vaccine was administered, stored and transported.
As reported previously, the World Health Organisation’s Head for Samoa Dr Rasul Baghirov said that the batch of MMR vaccine used by Samoa was also distributed to nine other countries. It has been in use in Samoa for the last year and a half, but Samoa is the only country where there has been a serious report.
The Samoan government has suspended the MMR vaccination programme across the country, formally recalling all remaining MMR vaccine batches, pending the outcome of the investigations.