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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

Four infants die after taking Japanese encephalitis vaccine in Palamu

Four other infants took seriously ill after being administered the vaccine are now under treatment.

ranchi Updated: Apr 08, 2018 18:44 IST
Vishal Sharma
Vishal Sharma
Hindustan Times, Daltonganj
The infants were administered vaccines for Japanese encephalitis and measles on Saturday.
The infants were administered vaccines for Japanese encephalitis and measles on Saturday. (Shutterstock/Representative Photo)

Four infants have died since Saturday after being vaccinated for Japanese encephalitis and measles in Jharkhand’s Palamu district, one of the state’s most backward districts. Three of the victims died within eight hours of the vaccination on Saturday while five others are undergoing treatment at a government hospital.

Nine children were administered vaccines at the local government health sub centre in Loinga village under the Patan community health centre in Palamu on Saturday.

The district administration has ordered a high level probe into the deaths and a team from Ranchi was sent to find out the reason for the casualties in the village, almost 200 km northwest of the capital Ranchi.

Villagers alleged within six to eight hours after vaccination, the children fell seriously ill with high fever and bouts of vomiting while their eyes turned yellow. Their condition deteriorated so quickly that three of them died before anything could be done.

Family members along with villagers blocked traffic for more than three hours near the village, 25 km from Daltonganj on Sunday.

The irate villagers also briefly held the village auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM) Draupadi Pandey hostage , accusing her of being responsible for the tragedy.

Three of the victims aged between one year to 18 months were identified as Ujjwal Kumar, son of Upendra Kumar; Sanju Kumari, daughter of Santosh Yadav and Aryan Kumar, son of Dhirendra Bhuiyan.

The fourth child two-year-old Ayush Kumar died Sunday afternoon at Daltonganj Sadar Hospital. Another infant Prabhat Kumar was referred to RIMS, Ranchi for better treatment.

Palamu deputy commissioner (DC) Ameet Kumar acknowledged the tragedy and assured the villagers of action against the guilty. “Nine children were vaccinated in the village yesterday. It was a routine vaccination for measles and other diseases. Three children have died while six others are admitted at Sadar Hospital. They are responding well to the treatment,” he said.

“The Palamu civil surgeon is probing the incident. We will take action after the probe is over. Guilty will not be spared,” Kumar added.

The office of the chief minister announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 1 lakh for the each of the bereaved families and free treatment for those children still in hospital.

First Published: Apr 08, 2018 14:48 IST

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