Alarming situation : Four children reportedly die from measles vaccine

Published: May 29, 2014
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The provincial health minister could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts.

The provincial health minister could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts.

PESHAWAR/CHARSADDA/SHANGLA/HANGU: 

Four children have died in the province, reportedly after the administration of the measles vaccine, while reports of children fainting were received from two districts.

Two-year-old Mazhar, a resident of Shabqadar, Charsadda, died on Wednesday in a hospital in Peshawar, while three children died in the provincial capital late on Tuesday night. The deceased children hailing from Peshawar are two-year-old Hilal of Mandra Khel area, two-year-old Rida of the same village and one-year-old Abul Samand, a resident of Faqir Kalay.

Parents of the children claim they were administered the measles vaccine by health teams and soon after, the children began having an adverse reaction to the medicine ultimately leading to their death.

Mazhar’s father, Fayaz Khan, told journalists his son was given the measles shot while he was visiting his grandparents’ house, however, after some time Mazhar became sick and was taken to a hospital in Peshawar where he died. The father blamed the measles vaccine for his child’s death.

On the other hand, Dr Farhad, the measles drive in-charge in Charsadda has denied the bereaved father’s claim stating Mazhar could have died due to some other reason.  “Reactions to the measles vaccine occur immediately after it is injected, while the child died after the passage of 24 hours,” claimed Dr Farhad.

Information minister Shah Farman claimed on the assembly floor on Wednesday that the vaccine procured by the federal government from India was causing these side-effects. The provincial government has formulated a committee to probe into the incidents in order to ascertain whether the deaths occurred due to the vaccine.

Children fall unconscious

Instances of children falling unconscious after the administration of the vaccine were reported from the provincial capital and Shangla on Wednesday.

Three students of the Forward Public School in Peshawar fainted after receiving the shot and were rushed to the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH).

Waqas Khan, the school administrator said fear spread among the students and parents after the incident and several parents took their children home resulting in the suspension of vaccination.

According to an LRH official, the three students and a girl from Faqir Kallay were being kept at the isolation ward of the hospital and are stable.

Meanwhile, around 15 children fainted after they were administered the measles vaccine in Bazarkot, Shangla district.

An official of the Alpuri police station Zahirullah said a health department team visited Government Girls Primary School Bazarkot to immunise children, however, 15 of them fell unconscious after receiving the shot. They were rushed to District Headquarters Hospital Alpuri and were discharged after being given first aid.

District Health Officer (DHO) Gulbar told The Express Tribune that the vaccine was given to 120 students and only 15 experienced the reaction. The DHO added the vaccine was not substandard and presumed the children fainted due to the fear of receiving the injection.

Team held hostage

A measles vaccination team was held hostage in a village of Hangu district on Wednesday afternoon after residents refused to get their children vaccinated.

DHO Dr Azam Wazir told The Express Tribune the 16-member team was conducting the drive in Darshai village, Karbogha Sharif area of Thal tehsil when the residents held them hostage at a hujra and refused vaccination. Police arrived at the village and managed to get the team released after negotiations.

The provincial health minister could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts.

The government launched a 12-day measles campaign on May 19 and since then several cases of negative reactions to the vaccine are surfacing. Around 110 adverse reactions have been recorded by the health department so far.

On Tuesday, DG Health Dr Waheed Burki addressed a news conference and declared that the reactions were “not related to the vaccine.”  He insisted the vaccine procured by the federal government were of good quality, and he had no doubts about its potency and efficacy. Burki attributed the reactions to “human error”. 

Published in The Express Tribune, May 29th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • anam
    May 29, 2014 - 10:37PM

    So much for sehat ka insaf

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  • zakir
    May 30, 2014 - 5:00AM

    in my children school two buses full with students shift to swabi hospital on emergency basis-working folks grimmer (worker welfare board gadoon-topi district swabi kpk)

    Recommend

  • Shahid
    May 30, 2014 - 6:02AM

    All the doctors and DG health have stated that the measles vaccine is safe and NOT causing these deaths. Then how do you justify stooping so low and publishing this misleading headline? Do you realize that this could potentially lead to more people refusing vaccination and resulting in more deaths from measles? Measles causes almost ONE MILLION deaths in Pakistan each year!

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  • Dee
    May 30, 2014 - 9:33PM

    Wow, a million, that’s quite a trick considering there were only 14,000 cases in 2012. Sadly, 306 died with measles, not necessarily, from measles. @Shahid:

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  • me
    May 30, 2014 - 9:49PM

    “The latest figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) show the number of measles cases in Pakistan has increased from 4,000 in 2011 to 14,000 in 2012. Of those, 306 died last year – up from 64 deaths in 2011.” ONE MILLION deaths, eh?

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  • Megan Lane
    May 30, 2014 - 11:49PM

    Shahid There was less than 5,000 cases of measles in Pakistan in 2011 per the world health organization. Where exactly did you come up with that number?

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  • Kari
    May 31, 2014 - 12:27AM

    @Shahid:

    There’s not even a million deaths globally per year due to measles… There’s about 122,000 according to WHO. Also, don’t assume that the doctors are right, adverse reactions to the Vaccine is not uncommon.

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  • Treacy
    May 31, 2014 - 12:43AM

    Vaccines are not safe! My son has a serious vaccine injury! There is a special fund set up here in the USA to pay the families for these injuries. If you go to the CDC website look up measles you will see the list of side effects. How do you think mercury, formaldehyde squalene etc..which are toxic to the body are good for you!!! Educate yourself. It is better sanitation, clean water and nutritious foods that combat disease.

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  • Jeff Mountain
    May 31, 2014 - 5:24AM

    Shahid: Of course the doctors and health officials say it’s safe and not the vaccines. You take an otherwise healthy child, give them the vaccine, and they immediately get sick and eventually die. Does that sound safe to you? They have a career and in most cases additional income to protect (payoffs by pharmaceutical companies). What would you expect? You have a brain. Use it. Do your own research.

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  • Dean
    May 31, 2014 - 10:36AM

    Vaccines are a lethal scam. Do not vaccinate if you love your kids. Agenda 21 of the U.N. wants to reduce population. So does the agenda of the New World Order.

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  • Christina Waldman
    Jun 4, 2014 - 9:58PM

    I do not find the information as to WHICH measles vaccine and who manufactured the measles vaccine given to the children who died after receiving it, in the article.

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