A one-and-half-month old baby boy died on Tuesday soon after he was given a vaccine at the Advanced Paediatrics Centre (APC) of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER). The PGIMER doctors are suspecting the death due to adverse reaction of the vaccine. The UT drug controller department has sealed the entire stock of the vaccine.
The baby was given vaccine -- Easy-Five -- manufactured by Panacea Biotec, Tuesday. It is a combination of five different vaccines to prevent children from diseases like Hepatitis-B, Diphtheria (an upper respiratory tract illness), Tetanus, Pertussis (commonly called whooping cough) and Hib, which protects from pneumonia.
The baby was born along with a twin at APC to woman of Hallomajra. They came on Tuesday for routine vaccination at APC. After the baby was administered the vaccination, his condition deteriorated. The family brought him to APC emergency, where doctors declared him brought dead. However, the other baby is doing fine.
The PGIMER doctors said the boy was born premature and was also suffering from some health problems.
"The family told us that the baby passed away soon after he was administered the vaccine on Tuesday. We can't rule out that death due to some reaction by vaccine," said Dr Bhavneet Bharti, additional professor, department of paediatrics. She revealed that the family refused to go for the autopsy of the baby. As they refused for autopsy, it will be difficult to establish the cause of death, she said.
Sources revealed that there were some complaints regarding the vaccine earlier as well. Following that the company had already started calling back a particular batch of the vaccine. "We have not received any communication from the company concerned regarding the sale of the stock. But now we have come to know that the stockists were about to recall the vaccine stock from Wednesday morning onwards," said Uma Shankar Gupta, the owner of the shop.
The vaccination was sold out by Baby Care Chemists. He is the same chemist, who is facing the charge of selling a "counterfeit" shunt used in the surgery of a six-week-old child two weeks back.
The PGIMER officials said though they have not received any complaint from the family but taking note of the issue and on the basis of parents' feedback, they had informed district immunisation officer and UT health officials.
Chemist shop raided
Following the death of the baby, the PGIMER and UT health department officials on Wednesday raided Baby Care Chemists located inside APC at the PGIMER and sealed the entire stock of vaccine. They have sealed the stock of vaccine lying at other shops as well. They officials also examined the entire stock of the vaccine to see whether there was anything wrong with the vaccination given to the baby. They also examined the condition in which the vaccines were kept and whether the cold chain was maintained or not.
However Sunil Chaudhary, drug controller UT Chandigarh refused to reveal the details of the inquiry report, saying he has submitted report to director, health services, Dr Rajiv Wadhera.
Dr Wadhera was not available for comment despite repeated attempts. He even didn't reply to the SMS sent on his mobile.
Significantly, based on an internal report in May last year, the Hindustan Times had reported that how more than 70% chemists at the PGIMER were found not storing the children vaccines at the required minimum temperature. The penalties were also imposed on the chemists for not maintaining cold chain to store the vaccines.
The fatal vaccine?
Name of the vaccine: Easy-Five; it is a combination of five different vaccines; the child was given the vaccine on Tuesday
What is it for: To prevent children from diseases like Hepatitis-B, Diphtheria (an upper respiratory tract illness), Tetanus, Pertussis (whooping cough), Hib (for protection from pneumonia).
Why it was withdrawn: The vaccine was withdrawn after some adverse effects were reported earlier. The process to recall a particular batch was to start on Wednesday.
The cause of death: As family has refused to go for autopsy of the child it will be difficult to ascertain the cause of death, said Dr Bhavneet Bharti, additional professor, department of paediatrics.