The infant was administered pentavalent vaccine at an anganwadi in Masakalipalayam on Wednesday morning. The child’s mother Vijayalakshmi, wife of Prashant, a car driver in her complaint said, “After vaccination, the baby cried continuously and also refused to be breastfed. Then, I gave a few drops of the syrup given by the nurse at the ‘anganwadi.’ Soon, my son fell asleep, but suddenly woke up restless and developed severe breathing trouble.”
The family rushed the baby to a Primary Health Centre in Uppilipalayam and they referred him to Coimbatore Medical College and Hospital (CMCH). “However doctors in CMCH said that the baby was already dead. My child had died within two hours of vaccination,” she claimed. The baby was suffering from bronchitis for more than a week.
However, officials of the health department denied vaccination to have caused the death of the child. “Several other children were also given the same vaccine, that too on the same day, but they all did not develop any complications and were extremely fine. Also, the same batch of vaccine was used in other centres across the district and no complaints have come so far,” said G Ramesh Kumar, Deputy Director of Public Health Department.
Officials believe that the exact reason for the death of the child will be known only after a post mortem. Yet, the health department has also decided to send the vial for testing to know if there was anything wrong in it.