Two-month-old infant dies six days after rotavirus vaccine

Afsana, the grieving mother of two-month-old Iqra, at Jaitpur village inBadarpur on Friday. Photo: Meeta Ahlawat   | Photo Credit: Meeta Ahlawat

A two-month-old baby died six days after she was administered a rotavirus vaccine at a government-aided healthcare centre in South Delhi. Her family has now alleged that she died because of the vaccine.

The baby was vaccinated on November 28 at the Centre for Health Research and Development, Society for Applied Studies at Devli village in Khanpur as part of phase-III of the trial programme for rotavirus vaccination.

According to the parents, Iqra’s health started deteriorating soon after the vaccination.

“She became quiet after returning from the vaccination centre. She got fever and loose motions, and kept crying constantly. We tried to contact the doctors involved in the process, but could not reach any of them. On Friday morning, she started frothing from the mouth and nose. She died before we could take her to the hospital,” said her mother Afsana.

Iqra’s father called up the police immediately and she was taken to the hospital, where doctors pronounced her dead on arrival. A post-mortem examination was then performed to ascertain the exact cause of death.

“We have not registered a case so far. We are awaiting the post-mortem report to ascertain the exact cause of her death and will take action based on that,” said a police officer.

The vaccine protects children from rotavirus, the leading cause behind diarrhoea among infants and children. An official added that those belonging to the weaker sections of society are given the vaccination for free along with a mobile phone, a blanket and Rs.500.

A representative from Centre conducting the programme told The Hindu: “The girl was vaccinated on November 28 along with several other children. We had warned the parents about the side-effects and had given them some medicines in case the child falls ill. We have also given a mobile phone to all the parents so that they can contact us in case of an emergency.”

The family lives in Jaitpur village of South-East Delhi and was advised by the people from healthcare institute to get their child vaccinated.

“I am not literate and have no idea about the vaccination. Some people from an organisation came to my house and told me that when my daughter becomes two-month-old, I should take her to the clinic and get her vaccinated. They gave us a mobile phone, Rs.500, and a blanket after the vaccination,” Afsana added.

T.S. Rao, Senior Advisor, Department of Biotechnology, said: “Our fact-finding team in the area is looking into the matter. We are not trying to hide anything. If there is anything wrong with the way the child was given the vaccination, action will be taken.”

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Printable version | May 5, 2021 9:36:14 AM |

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