Vaccine Deaths in Mumbai Prompt Government Probe

by Thilaka Ravi on  May 14, 2008 at 4:18 PM Child Health News   - G J E 4
 Vaccine Deaths in Mumbai Prompt Government Probe
The Maharashtra state government on Tuesday instituted a four-member committee to probe into last week's deaths of three children following the administration of DPT vaccines in various health posts in Mumbai.

All the three children who died after being administered vaccines like BCG, OPV and DPT were one or two months old.

Dr Prakash Doke, director general of health services, Maharashtra said, "Other children who received doses at these centers have already been checked by medical officers and they are doing fine." He added that the health authorities were closely monitoring those children.

All the 60 vials of the vaccines in the batch have been withdrawn from the three health posts.

The director of health services said that the samples of the vaccines have been sent to Central Drug Laboratory, Kasauli, to test for contamination of the vaccines.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) authorities initially maintained that though the deaths were unusual and needed an investigation, they should not be attributed to the vaccines.

The probe panel consisting of Dr A.B.Chitale and Dr S.A.Dhotre from Family Welfare Department and Dr Radha Aras and Dr Jayanti Shastri from T N Medical College, will submit its report in a week.

"There are deaths related to immunization. These happen once in a while, but we will investigate. However, with three deaths in Mumbai, it is a cause for concern. We need to know technically what happened. The committee members will start their work from tomorrow and give a report in a week," said Dr D S Dakhure, additional director of health services, Maharashtra.

"We have purposely constituted a committee from outside our department. It is a well-balanced team. Once the chemical analysis, histopathology and post-mortem reports are in, the committee members will then come to a conclusion," said Dr Jairaj Thanekar, executive health officer, BMC.

Source: Medindia

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