The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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16 ill after vaccine

Bhubaneswar, April 26: Some 16 children who had received Hepatitis-B vaccines at a Khurda health camp had to be hospitalised after they fell ill.

Fifty children were administered the vaccines yesterday afternoon at the camp organised by a voluntary organisation.

The reactions begun two hours after the drug was administered and parents rushed to the hospital after their children complained of nausea, dizziness and vomiting.

“Sixteen children are still admitted. Many others were allowed to go home after observation,” said Bhaskar Kar, a senior doctor at Khurda District Headquarters Hospital. However, no case of casualty has been reported so far. The affected children are out of danger.

Khurda district collector N.C. Jena and chief district medical officer rushed to the spot. Health officers alleged that the vaccines were stored badly leading to the reactions.

Usual storage temperature for Hepatitis-B vaccine is between 2°C and 8°C. “The date of manufacture for the vaccines is fine, but it seems that there might have been problems with the way the medicines were stored,” said Kar. He added that the samples have been sent for testing.

Dipak Kumar Mangaraj, Bholeswar Parida, Braja Kishore Rout, Trinath Sahu from the NGO Naibedya that was conducting the drive have been detained in this connection. An investigation has been started, said Bikram Keshari Jena, the inspector in charge of Khurda police station.

Secretary of health and family welfare Anu Garg has ordered an inquiry into the incident and the vaccines have been seized.

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