In a tragic incident, a two-month old child died and three other infants fell sick on Wednesday after they were administered the Pentavalent vaccine at a Primary Health centre (PHC) in Telangana's Yellareddypet mandal in Rajanna Sircilla District.
The parents of the infant who died reportedly hail from Korutlapeta village and said that their baby girl developed complications after they returned home.
They immediately shifted the baby to the mandal's headquarters for treatment. However, she died as she was being shifted to Karimnagar to avail better medical facilities.
According to media reports, the condition of another infant in the same village also worsened and she was shifted to the Rainbow Hospital in Hyderabad, where the baby is still said to be critical. Another infant whose condition is serious is presently undergoing treatment at a hospital in Karimnagar.
As news of the incident spread, Collector D Krishna Bhaskar immediately rushed to the village and consoled the deceased's family members.
Announcing Rs 3 lakh as compensation to the parents along with a job to a family member, the Collector also told the media that the government had suspended PHC doctor V Meenakshi for being negligent.
He added that all the medical expenses for the treatment of the other infants who developed complications would be borne by the state government.
Meanwhile, officials of the Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare, along with District Medical Health Officer (DMHO) Maruthi Rao have begun a detailed inquiry into the incident.
The panel is set to examine how the vaccines were stored and transported and will check if all medical procedures were followed while it was being administered.
The Collector also promised that strict action would be taken against those who were found guilty.
Telangana IT Minister KT Rama Rao, who is also the local legislator for Sircilla, checked on the infant availing treatment in Hyderabad and assured his parents that the best medical facilities would be made available to them.
The Pentavalent Vaccine (PV) is a combination of the DPT (Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus) vaccine and two more vaccines against Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) and Hepatitis B.
Starting December 2011, PV was introduced into India's immunisation programme to replace DPT vaccine in a staged manner with a view to adding protection against Hib and Hepatitis B without increasing the number of injections given to infants.
But sporadic reports of unexplained deaths following immunisation with PV had been a matter of concern.