Three infants die of infection after MMR vaccination in Belagavi district

Three infants died in Belagavi district, following infections that spread from improper administration of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Chetan Pujari, 12 months, Pavitra Hulgur, 13 months, and Umesh Karaguddi, 14 months, died of microbial infection. Two other children who are admitted in the Belagavi institute of Medical Sciences (BIMS) are recovering. These children are from Bochabal and Mallapur villages in Ramdurg taluk.

The infants received the vaccine from the primary health centre nurse, M. Salma, in Salahalli three days ago. The other 17 children who had got the vaccine are healthy.

While two died in the BIMS, one succumbed to the infection in the Ramdurg taluk hospital. Officers say the infection could have spread from non -sterilised syringes.

“On the face of it, it seems that the concerned staff did not take aseptic measures while vaccinating, which led to the infection,”’ said Ishwar Gadad, district immunisation officer,

“We have taken the necessary disciplinary action against the concerned staff member. An inquiry has been ordered,” Dr. Gadad said.

“This is the first time in five years that we have had such adverse reactions to the vaccination process,” S.V. Muniyal, District Health and Family Welfare Officer, said.

“We have sent a sample of the vaccine to the central vaccine unit in Kasauli, from where they were received. Urine and stool samples and viscera samples of the victims have been sent for forensic testing,” Dr. Muniyal said.

He clarified that this was part of a routine vaccination and did not have anything to do with the COVID-19 vaccination drive. “We have stopped the MMR vaccination in the affected villages. We appeal to the people not to panic and to continue take their children for vaccination,” he said.

A Health Department officer lamented that despite several rounds of training sessions, some staff members were careless about their duties. “Aseptic technique refers to the manner of handling, preparing, and storing medications and injection equipment and supplies like syringes and needles. These are necessary to prevent microbial contamination and infection. The vaccination protocol says that nursing and other staff should take aseptic techniques to ensure infection prevention when preparing the vaccines. Such tragedies occur when they are not followed,” the officer said.

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Printable version | May 27, 2022 8:44:43 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/three-infants-die-of-infection-after-mmr-vaccination-in-belagavi-district/article38278706.ece