Six-year-old girl’s death not related to MR vaccine, claim health authorities

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A DAY after death of six-year-old Gurnoor Kaur of Jai Singh Wala village of district Bathinda, district health authorities claimed that she died of gastroenteritis and dehydration and not due to measles rubella (MR) vaccination.

After the girl’s death, her parents had said that she had developed complications a day after being vaccinated. Gurnoor was vaccinated with MR injection on May 4 at Government Adarsh Senior Secondary School, Canal Colony, Bathinda district while she died on May 5 after coming from school. The girl was cremated Sunday morning.

On Sunday, Civil Surgeon Dr Hari Narayan Singh said, “We got her case history from parents and school and even the doctor who attended to her gave the details. As per the information, the child had been vomiting within school hours and even had been passing loose stools as well, but the school did not inform the parents well in time. Parents also reached for medical help by evening at Sanjivni hospital. In order to clear the confusion as the vaccination drive is going on, we have inquired the entire matter and hence stated that girl died due to dehydration and gastroenteritis..”

He added,”Inquiry report has been submitted to the DC Bathinda. The school at first place should have informed the parents well in time. Now, it is up to the DC to take suitable action against the concerned school authorities.”

The parents, however, did not get a postmortem done and the girl was cremated Sunday morning. Father Kulwant Singh said that Gurnoor was sent home from school at the usual time and parents were not informed that she was vomiting. Had she got timely medical help, she could have survived, he added.

Singh said that the girl started vomiting 28 hours after vaccination while as per experts, major side effects are visible few minutes after vaccination. The Civil Surgeon added that minor side effects after vaccination are rashes, mild fever, weakness, redness at the place of vaccination, body pains, difficulty in breathing.

“Parents took her to two hospitals before coming to Sanjivani Hospital where Dr Sunil examined the girl and declared her dead,” he said.

The news of the girl’s death has come at a time when the MR vaccination drive is already going slow in the state with only 5 lakh children vaccinated across the state against 73.5 lakh that now have to be vaccinated in six weeks. The first week of the drive has already passed.

Health authorities have asked cyber cell to take action against persons spreading rumours on social media against this campaign and FIR in Mansa had also been lodged in this regard. Health officials maintain that they will meet the targets in the coming weeks.

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