[Why does the headline says measles deaths when it is
measles VACCINE deaths?]
Measles deaths in Lucknow: Health Ministry orders an inquiry
Lucknow: The Health Ministry has ordered a probe after four infants, all
below nine months, died near Lucknow on Sunday after they were vaccinated for
measles. But the inquiry team is yet to reach Uttar Pradesh. While the Uttar
Pradesh government has announced compensation for the families of the victims.
All of them showed symptoms of a serious allergic reaction which probably caused
Minutes after they were given the measles vaccine, four infants - Kumari, Sanya,
Rekha and Sahil fell acutely ill. They became breathless, began to sweat and
their pulse fell rapidly - all symptoms of anaphylactic shock or a serious
allergic reaction to the vaccine, and before they could get medical help at the
local hospital, all four had died.
"These ANM's had injected them with the measles vaccine, then some minutes later
they became unconscious," said Rani, parent of a victim.
Such measles vaccine related deaths are rare but have been reported in the past.
In 2008, four children died under similar circumstances in Tamil Nadu. The
measles vaccination programme was suspended and the entire batch of vaccines was
Clearly, inoculation drives involving injections need strict controls and better
supervision. This case raises a host of questions:
Why were the four children given the vaccine when they were all below nine
months old? Measles vaccine is given at nine months
Was there proper supervision to monitor the delivery of the vaccine? Four
auxillary nurse midwives gave the shots but were not trained to provide
emergency support to the infants
The crucial question is was the vial which contained the vaccine contaminated?
"We will take strict action if it is found that these were wrongly administered,
we have collected samples of these dozes and have sent them for testing to find
out if they were genuine or spurious," said Anil Sagar, District Magistrate,
Paediatricians say that an immediate inquiry should begin and the entire batch
be pulled out of the programme to establish the cause of death or else the
vaccination programme which is doing poorly in states like Uttar Pradesh can
suffer a serious setback.
The three auxillary nurse midwives, the medical officer and the person
responsible for maintaining the vaccines have also been suspended.
Read more at: