Girl twins die a day after vaccination in Bengaluru

Four months old twin girls died 22 hours after receiving the pentavalent vaccine (immunity against haemophilus influenza type B, whooping cough, tetanus, hepatitis B and diphtheria) in Bengaluru. According to the parents, the girls were administered substandard quality vaccinations, which caused their death.

In a statement Dr Sudharshan, immunisation officer, health department, (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) BBMP, said government officials visited the health centre were they had been vaccinated and collected the vials.

''Seven other children were vaccinated using the same vial and they did not face any complications. The vaccines were not substandard or expired,'' he said. The effects of substandard vaccines usually showed within the first hour, he added. The pentavalent vaccine has been in use since 2014 and had a shelf life of two years.

The bodies were sent to Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences for postmortem the report of which is awaited. ''As a precaution, we have advised the health centre not to stock any vaccines till the investigations are completed,'' said Raghuram Bhandari, drug controller, Karnataka.

A senior officer of the jurisdictional Byatarayanapura police station said nothing could be ruled out and that a case of unnatural death of the twins has been registered.

The twins were administered the third dose of the five-in-one pentavalent vaccine, a single shot of which provides protection to infants from five life-threatening ailments - Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus (DPT), Hepatitis B and pneumonia due to Hib (Haemophilus influenza type B).

Babies are administered four doses of the vaccine at six weeks, 10 weeks, 14 weeks and 18 months.

The babies were vaccinated on Thursday and though they did not show any serious abnormal symptoms on the day, they had the usual post-vaccination fever and refused to accept feed, Lunesh, father of the twins told The Hindu. The twins started frothing at the mouth after they were bottle-fed the next day.

''They were dead even before we could take them to the hospital,'' he said.