Three children die soon after measles vaccine in Belagavi; probe ordered
Two doses of MR vaccine are given to the children at the age of 9-12 months and 16 to 24 months respectively.
Three children have allegedly died due to the side effects of the measles-rubella (MR) vaccine in the Belagavi district of Karnataka in last four days, said a district health official, privy to the matter, on Sunday.
The deceased have been identified as 13-month-old Pavitra Hulagur and 14-month-old Umesh Kuragundi of Bochabal village and Chetan Pujari (16 months) of Mallapur village in Ramdurg taluk, said an official, adding another child is undergoing treatment at the hospital. The health department has ordered a detailed investigation of the incident.
According to officials from the health department, as many as 17 children had been vaccinated at the Anganwadi school in Salahalli village of Ramdurg taluk by the local primary health center (PHC) on January 12. Four among them were given MR vaccine. Within one-and-a-half hour, all four children who had taken MR vaccine got sick, started vomiting and passing loose motion.
“The children were immediately shifted to Ramdurg taluk hospital, however, one of them died on the way,” said district health officer Dr Shashikant Munyal.
“The doctors here kept one child under their supervision whose condition was not that serious, while the other two were recommended to Belagavi Institute of Medical Sciences (BIMS) hospital. However, both died on Saturday,” he said.
“The doctors raised concerns about the reaction of MR vaccine but we have never seen such reactions before. A probe has been ordered into the matter and the investigation is underway,” he said.
Two doses of MR vaccine are given to the children at the age of 9-12 months and 16 to 24 months respectively. Dr Munyal further said two children had taken the first dose of MR while the other two had come for the second dose. The health department has stopped giving MR vaccines after the incident and samples have been sent for laboratory testing.
“We are awaiting the post-mortem report. Things will be clear after that,”said Karnataka’s minister for higher education Dr CN Ashwath Narayan.
Meanwhile, the family members of deceased children are blaming the health officials for the incident and have accused them of being irresponsible.