Tamil Nadu vaccine victims’ parents to be compensated

April 25th, 2008 - 7:18 am ICT by admin  

Chennai, April 24 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Thursday announced ex-gratia payments of Rs.300,000 each to the four families who lost their infants following administration of anti-measles vaccine Wednesday. Three female infants died within minutes of being administered the vaccine while another died a few hours later in Tiruvallur district, about 40 km from here.

Intervening in the debate over the incident in the state legislative assembly, the chief minister pointed out that vaccines from the same batch were administered to thousands of children Wednesday but no one else showed any adverse affect.

This indicated that there was no negligence on the part of the health department, Karunanidhi said.

“While we offer solace to the parents who lost their dear ones, we know that our humanitarian gestures will not fill the void created by the grievous loss,” the chief minister added.

A sample of the vaccine batch, whose shots are alleged to have resulted in the infant deaths, has been sent to a laboratory in Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh for quality tests.

Meanwhile, medical experts told IANS that the vaccines to prevent measles were variants of the small pox vaccine and are known in Tamil by a term associated with the eradicated disease.

“Some children are allergic to certain vaccines and medicines. As immunity systems in infants are not fully developed to withstand the strain, they collapse before being given medical aid,” a government health official said.

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