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Health Department Withholds Vaccine Batch

The batch of pentavalent vaccine manufactured by a Hyderbad-based company has been prohibited for further use following the death of two children in Aurangabad and Parbhani who were administered the vaccine from the same batch. On November 3, eight-month-old Ilma Imran Sayyed died a few hours after she was administered pentavalent vaccine at the primary health center in Gandheli near Aurangabad. The doctor, who was present when the vaccine was being administered, had apologised to the village leaders after Ilma’s family raised an alarm. An inquiry was ordered by public health department, the report of which is still awaited. In November, another child died in Rokdewadi village, Parbhani district after receiving pentavalent vaccine from a local government hospital. Deputy director of health services Swapnil Lale, under whose jurisdiction Aurangabad and Parbhani fall, said that the sample of the vaccine of the same batch has been sent to National Control Laboratory in Kasauli for testing immunobiologicals (vaccines and antisera) to ascertain whether there was anything wrong with constituents of the vaccine.

“Until the report of the lab arrives, we have withheld the vaccines of the same batch from being used at any other center. This is a preventive measure under our routine Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) program. Under AEFI, we routinely monitor the child for any adverse drug reactions,” said Lale. He added that the action on sealing the vaccine batch does not imply that the drug manufacturer was at fault. “We have not discarded the vaccines as they will expire on October 2020. If the report from the lab finds the vaccines fit for use, we will use them again,” said Lale. Pentavalent vaccine is a five-in-one vaccine that protects children from five infections—diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b. – TOI