Measles vaccine reactions: Health minister announces probe into deaths of children

Minister presumes the deceased children might have had health issues prior to the vaccination.


Hidayat Khan May 30, 2014
Protocols regarding administration of vaccine were not observed strictly, and that some doses were administered intra-muscularly rather than subcutaneously, which affects absorption and may lead to adverse reaction. PHOTO: ONLINE

PESHAWAR:


Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Minister for Health Shahram Khan Tarakai has announced a committee comprising local and foreign health experts to probe the deaths of children in the province, reportedly being caused by the measles vaccine.


Addressing a news conference at the office of the provincial health secretary on Thursday, Tarakai said, “The committee would comprise officials of the World Health Organization (WHO), Unicef, district health officials and senior child specialists.”

“We have no doubts about the quality of the vaccine the federal government has purchased in consultation with Unicef and WHO,” Tarakai reiterated.

The minister stated that at the moment the government was not in a position to comment on the cause of the children’s deaths and was awaiting the results of the investigation it has ordered.

Tarakai presumed the deceased children might have had health issues prior to the vaccination. “All hospitals in the province have been directed to provide healthcare facilities to those affected by the medicine on a priority basis,” added Tarakai.

The minister further said the children of the province can only be protected from the disease by the help of the vaccine, and the immunisation campaign will continue till May 31 as per schedule. Following this, the vaccine will be available at basic health units.

According to Tarakai, the government has immunised 7.4 million children across the province during the ongoing drive and its target of vaccinating 9.6 million children will be achieved by the end of the 12-day drive.

Five children have died in K-P during the vaccination drive, while hundreds have been rushed to hospitals after they fainted following the injections.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2014.

COMMENTS (4)

Amber Roof | 7 years ago | Reply

Why even vaccinate for measles when census data shows the disease death rate was incredibly low before the onset of the vaccine release into mass public market? Now we have a vaccine for chicken pox as well. We have traded one and two week pests for lifelong neurological and immunological disorders. There is a reason so many children are in speech and occupational therapy. It makes me sick.

Meryl Dorey | 7 years ago | Reply

How can we expect an honest and fair inquiry into this tragedy if the medical authorities are already claiming, before knowing anything, that these children probably had a pre-existing condition? No preconceptions should be allowed. The measles vaccine can and does cause death - no matter how it is administered. These children deserve a true investigation, not another government cover-up.

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