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Rabies vaccine withdrawn after boy’s death in Karnal

Following the death of a six-year-old boy after being administered an anti-rabies vaccine (ARV) here on Wednesday, the Haryana health department has alerted all civil hospitals to temporarily discontinue using the vaccine.
Hindustan Times | By Vishal Joshi, Karnal
UPDATED ON AUG 30, 2012 12:35 AM IST

Following the death of a six-year-old boy after being administered an anti-rabies vaccine (ARV) here on Wednesday, the Haryana health department has alerted all civil hospitals to temporarily discontinue using the vaccine.

The incident took place at Karnal Civil Hospital and doctors termed it a case of vaccine reaction.

Karnal civil surgeon Dr Shiv Kumar said that the vaccine, AbhyaRab, manufactured by Human Biological Institute, Tamil Nadu, has been withdrawn.

The vaccine is available at all government hospitals and following suspicion about its quality, its use has been suspended with immediate effect.

“The vaccine stock in Karnal has been sealed and the civil surgeons across the state have been informed telephonically to stop using the vaccine till it gets a quality clearance,” Dr Kumar said.

He said that the patient from Panipat was undergoing treatment at the local the civil hospital after being bitten by a stray dog. He had been referred here to undergo a treatment of five ARVs in a row.

“The patient was administered the vaccine on three earlier occasions and he responded well. But after being administered the ARV at the hospital today, his condition deteriorated suddenly. Despite the best efforts of the team of doctors attending on him, the patient died within 20 minutes of being injected the vaccine,” the civil surgeon added.

District drug controller Parvinder Malik confirmed that the stock of Human Biological Institute ARV had been sealed and samples would be sent to the Central Research Laboratory at Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh.

Meanwhile, the parents of the boy have not lodged any complaint and have declined a post-mortem.

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