Health Ministry probes UP infants deaths

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Mohanlalgunj:  They are meant to protect children against life threatening diseases, but what happens when lifesaving innoculations turn killers?

Health authorities are trying to investigate just what led to the deaths of four children, minutes after getting a shot for measles.

A criminal investigation has been launched, but it's of little consolation to those parents who lost their little ones. 

Rekha was one of the four children who died. Her mother has lost faith in the government programme that she believed would protect her child from life threatening diseases.

"These ANM's had injected them with the measles vaccine, then some minutes later they became breathless, began to sweat and their pulse fell rapidly. I thought this would protect my child but now my child is dead," said Rani, Rekha's mother.

Along with the three children, the fourth, six months old, who was vaccinated for TB and Hepatitis also died, raising the possibility of the diluent being contaminated as well.

The biggest challenge for the Health officials is to re-instill the confidence in the villagers towards the immunisation drive as some of them have threatened to boycott any attempt by the state government to reinitiate the drive in their villages.

Two-month-old Prince was given polio drops as well as DPT. Now, the deaths have given his mother reason to doubt the vaccination programme. "I will not get my child vaccinated for measles," said Roshni Devi, Prince's mother.

An FIR has also been lodged against unknown people while the Centre has asked the state to recall the batch of vaccine, which was manufactured by Indian Immunologicals.

This was the same company which had produced the measles vaccines used in Tamil Nadu in 2008, which led to the death of four infants. The Centre had recalled four million doses of the vaccine then.


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