4 children die within minutes of vaccination
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Within minutes of taking vaccination for measles and BCG, four children of three different villages in Mohanlalganj area of Lucknow died on Saturday morning. While three of the victims were given the measles vaccine, the fourth took BCG.
Five medical and paramedical staff of Community Health Centre, Mohanlalganj, have been suspended. The government has ordered a probe and Rs 50,000 each to guardians of the victims.
The immunisation programme was being conducted as part of the government's Jachha Bachha Suraksha Abhiyan launched on August 15. Minutes after vaccination, the children started gasping for breath.
While a one-year-old girl and a two-year-old boy of Bindaua village died within an hour at the health centre, a six-month-old girl of Rampur Garhi village and a one-year-old girl of Padminkheda village were both brought dead.
Angry villagers locked up senior medical officers in the panchayat office, and released them after three hours only after much persuasion.
In the blame game that began, some officials said "contaminated Vitamin A dosage" could have caused the deaths. Director General, Family Welfare, Dr S P Ram denied the vaccines were contaminated or expired, but admitted that there could have been contamination.
"There can be other causes of death. Anaphylactic shock, which happens when body refuses to accept a medication, is a probable cause. This can happen with any vaccine," he said.