One of many news reports documenting the death
after a measles
campaign. Speculation has been made (in order to explain these deaths) that there was contamination with staphylococcus aureus (bacteria
) in the vaccine
although no conclusive or definitive answers have been provided to date.
This highlights the problem in vaccination policy that all children are subject to the same vaccine schedule with no real practical consideration of the vulnerability and susceptibility of individual children to adverse events and reactions (short or long-term) due to their unique biological constitution and underlying health and immunity problems (that may not have already been detected).
NEW DELHI (AFP) [April 25 2008] - India has recalled over four million doses of a measles vaccine supplied by a south Indian drug manufacturer after four children died following inoculation with the drug, reports said Friday.
"All state governments have been instructed to stop use of the measles vaccine manufactured by the Indian Immunological Limited until further orders," health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss told the Press Trust of India news agency.
Further supplies from the manufacturer have also been halted, he said.
The government late Thursday ordered the recall of some four million doses of the vaccine already supplied by Hyderabad-based Indian Immunologicals Limited out of an overall order of nine million, the Indian Express daily said.
The recall came after four infants who received the measles vaccine in the southern state of Tamil Nadu died on Wednesday.
Parents said their babies started frothing at the mouth and nose and died within 15 to 20 minutes of being administered the vaccine, news channel NDTV reported.
The state health minister has said the children might have had a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine, noting that some 20,000 children in Tamil Nadu were inoculated against measles with the same drug Wednesday.
Samples of the vaccine have been sent to a national laboratory for testing and a team of health experts is examining how the vaccine was stored and how health workers administered it.
In developing countries, due to malnutrition, sanitation issues and general standards of living, diseases such as measles can be more harmful than in developed countries where they are mild and harmless to the vast majority of children.
Measles can be cured and prevented with high dosage Vitamin A and Vitamin C, as is established and documented historically.