A pair of four-month-old female twins, born to Hemalatha and Lunesh Singh from Rajasthan, died on Friday, a day after they were administered vaccine at the BBMP’s Bapujinagar Primary Health Centre on Friday.
The twins were given the third dose of the five-in-one pentavalent vaccine, a single shot of which provides protection to infants from five life-threatening ailments — Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus (DPT), Hepatitis B and pneumonia due to Hib (Haemophilus influenza type b).
The vaccine is administered in four doses at six weeks, 10 weeks, 14 weeks and 18 months.
The couple, residents of Avalahalli in Deepanjali Nagar, had got their babies vaccinated on Thursday. Although they did not show any serious abnormal symptoms on Thursday, the babies had the usual post-vaccination fever and refused to accept feed, Mr. Lunesh told The Hindu . They started frothing at the mouth after they were bottle-fed the next day.
“They were dead even before we could take them to the hospital,” he said.
BBMP Chief Health Officer Vatsala, who confirmed the deaths, told The Hindu that 38 other babies who had been administered the vaccine from the same batch did not have any problems. A single vial of the vaccine is administered to 10 babies.
BBMP Immunisation Officer Sudarshan said that preliminary investigations did not establish the deaths to be vaccine-related. “We will conduct an investigation as per the Centre’s guidelines of adverse events following immunisation,” he said.
The doctors, who said the matter had been reported to the State Health Department, said the investigation report would also be sent to the department. “The bodies have been sent for post-mortem and the report will give us a clear picture on the cause of deaths,” he said.
Health officers say the death is not linked to the pentavalent vaccine the babies received