2 kids die after vaccination in Haryana

Two children in Haryana died in the last one week after being administered a pentavalent vaccine and oral polio vaccine, though the reasons behind their deaths remain hazy.

While there are unconfirmed reports on the death of four kids, sources told Deccan Herald at least two children died in Jhind district after being given the vaccines since August 14. While the pentavalent vaccine is an injection, polio vaccine is a oral drop.

Despite repeated efforts, there is no official word either from the Health Ministry, World Health Organisation or Unicef, which are involved in the vaccination campaign.

“Immunisation officers are trying to ascertain the cause of death. A clearer picture may emerge only next week,” sources said.

The pentavalent vaccine protects against five potential killers – Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertusis, Haemophilus influenzae type b (pneumonia and meningitis among others) and Hepatitis B.

Pentavalent vaccine has not been associated with any serious sideeffects. However, redness, swelling and pain may occur at the limb site where the injection is administered.
But a group of doctors who criticised the pentavalent vaccine accused the government and WHO in the past for promoting it.

The critics claim that the government and WHO do not admit occurrence of any adverse event following immunisation (AEFI), though deaths were reported following the administration of the vaccine.

However, a national AEFI Committee, which investigated the deaths in Kerala reportedly due to the pentavalent vaccine, said in its report that those deaths were not causally related to the vaccine.

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