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 OKs Cubist antibiotic for serious infections

Dec 20, 2014

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new medicine to fight complex infections in the abdomen and urinary tract, the fourth antibiotic the agency has approved since May.

Xtoro approved for swimmer's ear

Dec 18, 2014

(HealthDay)—Xtoro (finafloxacin otic suspension) eardrops have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat swimmer's ear, clinically known as acute otitis externa.

Drug interaction identified for ondansetron, tramadol

Dec 18, 2014

(HealthDay)—In the early postoperative period, ondansetron is associated with increased requirements for tramadol consumption, according to a review and meta-analysis published online Dec. 10 in Anaesthesia.

New system targets germs in donated blood plasma

Dec 17, 2014

(HealthDay)—A new system designed to eliminate germs in donated blood plasma and reduce the risk of transmitting a plasma-borne infection has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.