57 children hospitalised in India after given wrong vaccine

Almost 60 children were taken to hospital in eastern India after they were mistakenly instructed to swallow a hepatitis B vaccine instead of polio drops, officials said Monday.

The children started vomiting and sweating after they were orally given hepatitis B vaccine, which is normally injected, at clinics in a village in West Bengal state on Sunday, the said.

Some 120 children in total swallowed the medication at the clinics, set up to administer drops as part of a campaign to eradicate the disease, before discovered the mistake, said Biswaranjan Sathpaty, director of West Bengal Health Services.

"A total of 57 children started vomiting immediately after they were administered the wrong vaccine," Sathpaty told AFP.

They were taken to a local hospital in Arambagh for treatment and have since been discharged, Sathpaty said.

Doctors and officials were quoted by local media as saying the hepatitis B vaccine would not cause any long-term harm, but the mishap could deter parents from allowing their children to be vaccinated in future.

Medical workers in India have worked hard to stamp out , a rare public health victory in a country where children are at risk of a range of deadly illnesses. Almost half of all children below the age of three are malnourished.

The polio clinics were set up at two schools in Goghat village 80 kilometres (50 miles) northwest of the state capital Kolkata, said Apurba Ghosh, director of the state-run Institute of Child Health.

Four health officials have been suspended and an investigation is under way into exactly how the mix-up occurred, Sathpaty said.

"A few samples of hepatitis B mistakenly found their way into the container marked for polio vaccines," he said.

"A nurse was assigned to collect the packet of vaccines from a local government office," he said. "But she sent her husband to get the vaccines."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Pakistan warns of polio outbreak after fresh cases

Aug 28, 2013

Health officials in Pakistan on Wednesday warned of a serious polio outbreak after the disease was detected in 16 children in a tribal district where militant groups have banned vaccination.

Recommended for you

FDA to start regulating lab-developed tests

21 hours ago

(AP)—The Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday it will begin regulating laboratory-developed tests, a growing class of medical diagnostics that have never before been subject to federal oversight.

Determine patient preferences by means of conjoint analysis

Jul 29, 2014

The Conjoint Analysis (CA) method is in principle suitable to find out which preferences patients have regarding treatment goals. However, to widely use it in health economic evaluations, some (primarily methodological) issues ...

User comments