VELLORE: An eight-year-old girl died under mysterious circumstances near Ambur on Friday, days after she was administered Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccine. Though it was not established that the death was due to the vaccine, it added fuel to the fears of parents, who were already apprehensive about the Measles-Rubella vaccine following negative reports about it on social media platforms.
The deceased, Haripriya, who was studying in Panchayat Union Elementary School in Nacharkuppam village near Ambur, was given the MR vaccination shots on February 7 at her school. Two days later, she started experiencing fever and cough, and soon developed pneumonia and epilepsy. She was rushed to Government Ambur Hospital on Thursday night, and later shifted to Government Vellore Medical College Hospital. However, she was believed to have died on the way as sources at the Government Vellore Medical College Hospital said she was declared dead on arrival.
While the girl’s family members and relatives suspected that the death was associated with the MR vaccine, they refused to get a postmortem done to confirm the cause of death.
Meanwhile, the health officials claimed that inquiries with the girl’s family revealed that Haripriya used to have on and off episodes of fever and epilepsy. However, they were not able to ascertain whether the physical fitness of the girl was ensured before the MR vaccine was administered.
Meanwhile, a private paediatrician, who did not wish to be named, said, “Under such circumstances, the best way to rule out whether the death is due to vaccination is to conduct a postmortem. Since the family members did not give their nod for the autopsy, it would be difficult to link the death to vaccination.”
Following the news of the girl’s demise, the Tirupattur health department officials rushed to the village on Friday and conducted a screening test for all the children, who received vaccination at the school.
Officials confirmed that all students were fit and none showed any adverse reaction to the vaccine.