Central team arrives to probe Lucknow immunisation deathsAugust 23rd, 2010 - 12:51 am ICT by IANS
Lucknow, Aug 22 (IANS) A high-level team from the central health ministry reached Lucknow Sunday to probe the deaths of four infants within minutes of receiving routine immunisation shots in three villages on the outskirts of the Uttar Pradesh capital.
The four-member team, led by Deputy Commissioner (Immunisation Division) Ajay Khera visited each of the villages where the immunisation was carried out.
They grilled the suspended doctor and paramedical staff involved in the vaccination process and also spoke to the families of the victims.
Later, the team had a detailed discussion with Lucknow’s Chief Medical Officer A.K.Shukla, district project officer (Immunisation) Vinod Kumar as well as District Magistrate Anil Kumar Sagar.
While declining to go into details of their assessment, Khera told reporters: “We would completely rule out the use of expired vaccines, but it is possible that there was some break in the cold-chain which is important for preserving such vaccines”.
According to him, even if the cold-chain had broken during the course of transportation or storage, it was unlikely to cause death “but still we need to go deeper into the whole affair”.
He was, however, unable to affirm which vaccine could have led to the death of the infants who had received immunisation against measles, tuberculosis and for vitamin A deficiency at the special camps held in the villages.
Saying that the inquiry would continue Monday, Khera said that they “would however not be in a position to arrive at any conclusion until we get an analysis report of the vaccines used on the victims”.
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