Schoolgirl dies, 27 more hospitalised after vaccination in Sri Lanka

March 20th, 2009 - 1:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, March 20 (IANS) A schoolgirl died and 27 more had to be hospitalised after receiving vaccination against Rubella in Sri Lanka’s southern Matara province, officials here said Friday.
M.D. Wanninayakka, media secretary for the health ministry, said the dead girl was among the group of students who fell ill and were hospitalised after being vaccinated against Rubella Thursday.

“Such an incident has never happened before in Sri Lanka. We have immediately dispatched a special team of doctors from our epidemiology unit to carry out a full probe,” Wanninayakka told IANS.

He said Heath Minister Nimal Sripala de Silva has already rushed the deputy director general of public health to the spot and urged him to submit an immediate report on this incident Friday itself.

According to media reports, all of the students who fell ill belonged to a leading girls’ school in Matara.

Indrani Subasinghe, divisional medical officer of Matara, has reportedly said that she had made arrangements to immunise about 300 schoolgirls.

“One of the students, who fell seriously ill, had told authorities that she was allergic to milk. However, she had been vaccinated as rubella vaccine is not a dairy product. Such mishaps seldom occur during immunisation campaigns,” Subasinghe was quoted as saying by the Colombo-based Daily Mirror newspaper.

According to doctors, Rubella is a viral infection that primarily affects the skin and lymph nodes.

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