The probe into the death of three babies after their measles-rubella (MR) vaccine in Karnataka has revealed that negligence on the part of one of the health workers is the reason for the tragedy. 

Following the probe, a government health worker has been suspended. Two other girl children, one 18-month-old and another 12-month-old are recovering in the hospital.

The health worker who inoculated the babies at Anganwadi centre in Ramdurg taluk of Belagavi district had allegedly not taken aseptic or surgically sterile measures which led to the deaths. Children below the age of 15 months are given the first dose against MR and above 15 months are given the second dose. 

A baby with RSV infection (Representational Picture)Flickr/ Philippe Put

At least two deaths were reported after vaccination at Bochagala camp on January 12 and one from Mallapura on January 11. As many as 17 babies were vaccinated at Bochagala camp and four babies had received shots at Mallapura camp in Ramdurg taluk. The utter negligence of the health worker is said to be the reason for the tragedy, according to district authorities.

Pavithra Halagur, a 13-month-old baby girl died on the same day after being administered the first dose of MR vaccination. She developed nausea and vomiting a few hours after inoculation. Umesh Karagundi, a 14-month-old child, though shifted to Belagavi Institute of Medical Sciences (BIMS), developed convulsion in ICU and died on January 15. Chetana, a 15-month-old baby who got the shot in Mallapura camp also died the same day on January 11.

Vaccine (Representational Picture)Flick/ Asian Development Bank

The district authorities maintained that a detailed probe is underway and it will reveal the exact cause of deaths and nature of negligence. The action has been taken on the findings of the preliminary probe.

Belagavi District Health Officer Dr S.V. Munyal said that the guilty will be punished without any mercy regarding the incident. There is a committee to look into the adverse effects of vaccination. The samples of blood, excreta of babies have been sent to the laboratory and the report will give a clearer picture. Apart from this, the department is also conducting an investigation.