Karnataka CM orders probe into deaths of 3 infants after botched vaccination

Two healthcare workers have been suspended for suspectedly administering the MR vaccine in unsanitary and unsafe conditions in Belagavi district.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai
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Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has sought a comprehensive investigation report in the case connected to the death of three children in Karnataka’s Belagavi district. CM Bommai has sought the report from the Deputy Commissioner, after three babies who had taken the Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccine on January 11, died.

Based on a preliminary report, two government healthcare workers — the nurse who administered the vaccine and a pharmacist — were suspended after it was found that they had allegedly not followed aseptic or surgically sterile procedures while inoculating the infants. The probe has reportedly revealed that the nurse had obtained the vaccination vials one day earlier from the pharmacist and had kept them in a hotel fridge, violating protocols, according to IANS. According to the report, this led to the infants’ deaths.

After taking the MR vaccine at an anganwadi in Belagavi’s Ramdurg taluk on January 11, three infants who were under the age of 18 months died within days of taking the vaccine. They were from the Bochagala and Mallapura villages in Karnataka. Pavithra Halagur, a 13-month-old baby girl, died the same day after being administered the first dose of the MR vaccine, and she developed nausea and vomiting a few hours after inoculation. Umesh Karagundi, a 14-month-old child, developed convulsions in the ICU of the Belagavi Institute of Medical Sciences (BIMS),and died on January 15. Chetana, a 15-month-old baby who got the shot on January 11, also died the same day.

More than 20 infants received the vaccine from both villages on January 11 and 12, officials said. Officials also said samples of the vaccine have been sent to the Union government’s vaccine unit, and urine, stool and viscera samples of the victims have been sent for forensic testing.

Karnataka Health Minister K. Sudhakar has stated that he had ordered another high-level probe into the tragic incident and directions have been given to submit the report within two days.

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