Thursday, October 08, 2015

Killer Pentavalent Vaccine Introduced in Odisha

A Vaccine behind 76+ deaths & 227+ severe reactions introduced in Odisha
The Pentavalent vaccine has been introduced by the international
agency GAVI (floated by BMGF) in developing countries. It is supposed
to protect against five diseases – diphtheria, tetanus, whooping
cough, Hepatitis B and Hib bacteria that may cause pneumonia or
meningitis. Interestingly the vaccine has not been introduced in
developed nations.
The vaccine has been tested in Ghana, Myanmar and India by GAVI in the
year 2002. The trials reported no major side effects and therefore the
vaccine was first introduced in Sri Lanka in January 2008. Within 2
months deaths of 4 children were reported. Despite concerns the
Government continued but after 25 children were very seriously
affected the vaccine was discontinued. However WHO insisted and the
vaccine was reintroduced in 2010 and resulted in 14 more deaths.
After the vaccine was introduced in Pakistan in 2009, 3 children died
in Muzaffarabad alone and the Government discontinued the vaccine
without disclosing the total tally of deaths. Introduced in Bhutan in
the same year the vaccine killed 4 children and severely affected
another. It was stopped and reintroduced in 2010 to cause 27 deaths
and 16 very serious adverse effects. Bhutan then stopped the vaccine.
In Vietnam the vaccine caused 12 deaths and 9 serious adverse effects.
Despite these incidents being informed to the Government of India by
the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) the same
body advised the Government to introduce the vaccine experimentally in
Kerala and Tamil Nadu for one year.
Within 20 hours of the introduction of the vaccine on December 14,
2011 a child died. More deaths were soon reported in both Kerala and
Tamil Nadu. Ignoring these deaths the vaccine was extended to the
states of Goa, Pondicherry, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka,
Kashmir and Delhi with catastrophic consequences.
In August 2014 replying to an RTI query the Government of India
admitted that 76 deaths and 227 serious adverse effects were reported
after the vaccine but denied that the vaccine was the cause of the
deaths. However, earlier the Government had stated that 3 deaths in
Tamil Nadu were due to the vaccine.
Reports of deaths continued to appear in the media and activists say
that hundreds of children may have died from the vaccine so far and
more hospitalized. This is the most serious vaccine scandal to hit
the country. A PIL against the Pentavalent vaccine is pending before
the Supreme Court, filed by two eminent NTAGI members. The doctors say
that the vaccine will kill 1 in every 10,000 children vaccinated.
Instead of acknowledging the after effects, international agencies
started hiring communication experts to sensitize journalists and
other media personnel about the importance of vaccination and how
“natural deaths” are erroneously attributed to vaccines. This
education is also regularly provided to health workers and officials.
Despite this controversy the Pentavalent vaccine has been introduced
into Odisha in August 2015, and children have been subject to the vaccine since 7th October 2015 as reported in the Dharitri. We hope the
vaccine will be closely monitored and deaths and adverse events
truthfully reported by the health agencies and the media. The children
of Odisha should not suffer because of the machinations of
international agencies whose role in the unethical trial of HPV
vaccine on tribal girls in India that resulted in 4 deaths has been
severely criticized by a Parliamentary Committee and also the Supreme
Court of India in a case pending before it.
So somebody has to answer the following questions;
1. Why has the Pentavalent Vaccine been introduced in Odisha in August
2015 despite being related to 76 deaths and 227 hospitalizations in
India (in all 9 states where introduced), as admitted by the Ministry
of Health to an RTI filed in August 2014 by Mr Sanjai Sharma of HRLN.
Several more children have died since then. According to Dr Jacob
Puliyel of the NTAGI the vaccine is killing 1 in 10,000 children and
will kill 3215 children yearly in India.The vaccine has caused deaths
and hospitalizations in all countries where it has been introduced."
2. Considering that this controversy has been continuously intimated
to the Government by activists, what steps has the Government taken to
ensure that the vaccine is safe to be introduced? Has any local test
on children been performed in Odisha to determine the safety in a
clinical trial by any reputed institution? Has any medical institution
studied the deaths and after effects such that children can be
immediately attended to even in remote areas? Are health workers and
PHC's sensitized and equipped?
3. What steps have been taken to monitor the vaccinated children in
Odisha, considering that deaths are occurring even after 3-4 days? Has
a specialized reporting system been established for this highly
controversial vaccine? What will be the system and quantum of
compensation paid in case of deaths, disability and hospitalizations?
The Government of Vietnam has recently declared that the Government
will be responsible for deaths from Quinvaxem (the Pentavalent brand
used in Vietnam) and will compensate the victims.
(Source: Study on the effectiveness and impact of pentavalent
vaccination program in India and other south Asian countries,
published in Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics, 01.05.14

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