Deaths, side effects hit JE immunisation

Tuesday July 25 2006 15:20 IST

BELLARY: The Japanese Encephalitis (JE) vaccination programme’s pilot project launched in the district for children has been crippled following the death of two vaccinated children, complaints of side-effects and shortage of health staff.

After reviewing the programme with all health officers here on Monday, Deputy Commissioner Arvind Srivastav, clarified that the deaths of two children reported from Kudligi and Kampli town were not due to the JE vaccination. The deaths might have occurred due to various reasons.

In the Kampli case, the girl had already been suffering from dog bite. Her blood sample had been sent to a lab in Pune and the results were expected in a couple of weeks. In the other case, the parents of the child did not allow for a postmortem. Hence the reason for the death could not be ascertained, he added.

He said the week-long programme started on July 10 had been extended as only 85 per cent of the targeted 7.2 lakh children could be covered within the stipulated time, accounting for 6,06 894 children.

About one lakh children could not be covered due to various reasons including parents’ refusal to send their wards for vaccination, following the death of two children and reports of side effects.

Srivastav informed that the health department had opened centres to administer the vaccine to the remaining children. It would function on all Thursdays starting from this week. He said the centre had been asked to supply more vials to the district to complete the programme.

An immunisation team has been constituted to study the effects of the vaccination. Ten teams had been constituted taluk-wise and would immediately attend to children to trace the reasons for the adverse effects.

The programme would cover newborns in the future in a bid to totally eradicate brain fever.