Belagavi: Belagavi District Commissioner M. G. Hiremath on Wednesday January 19 said that he had submitted the preliminary investigation report to Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai in the case of the death of three babies after receiving measles-rubella vaccines in the district.
“The discussion is on providing compensation for the families who have lost the babies,” he added.
Speaking to the media, he said the report has been sent to the Chief Minister which has been submitted by the Belagavi Immunization Monitoring Officer, Eshwar Gadad.
Hiremath said that the details of the report can’t be made public and further investigation is being taken up.
“Vials have been sent to the manufacturing unit as well as to laboratories. Once they give the report, there will be more clarity. There is no provision of compensation for deaths due to vaccinations but there is one under the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for which there are certain criteria.”
“We will recommend to the Joint Secretary for compensation,” he said.
An initial probe into the death of the three babies has revealed that the nurse who had obtained the vaccination vials on Tuesday from the pharmacist had kept them in a hotel fridge along with food items, violating all protocols.
This led to bacterial infection and after the administration of these vaccines the three babies died due to aseptic shock syndrome. Two deaths were reported after being vaccinated at Bochagala camp on January 12 while one death was reported from Mallapura camp on January 11 in Ramdurg taluk.
As many as 17 babies were vaccinated at Bochagala and four babies had received vaccine jabs at Mallapura. Two girls, one 18-months-old and another 12-months-old, are recovering in hospital.
Karnataka Health Minister K. Sudhakar had given orders to suspend nurse Salma and pharmacist Jayaram.
Eshwar Gadad said that as per the protocol the vaccination vials have to be taken from the primary health centre (PHC) to vaccination camps and must be returned to the PHC.
“Nurse Salma should not have carried the vials and kept them in a hotel fridge. All vials obtained by her have been taken back and sent for tests. This is an unfortunate incident. The health department has taken care of it and parents can come forward for vaccination of their babies,” he added.
Pavithra Halagur, a 13-month-old baby girl died on the same day after being administered the first dose of the vaccine after developing nausea and vomiting a few hours after the vaccination.
Umesh Karagundi, a 14-month-old child, though shifted to Belagavi Institute of Medical Sciences, developed convulsions in the ICU and died on January 15.
Chetana, a 15-month-old baby who got the vaccine jab in Mallapura camp also died on January 15.
Children below the age of 15 months are given the first vaccine dose against measles-rubella and above 15 months are given a second vaccine dose.