Telangana: Schools nervous on Measles-Rubella vaccination, put drive on hold
Hyderabad: Some private schools in Hyderabad have kept the ongoing measles-rubella (MR) immunisation drive on hold after a 13-year-old student died after administering the Measles and Rubella vaccine at the Yanadi Colony in Tadepalli mandal of Guntur district. Parents are demanding 100 per cent assurance of safety from the schools and therefore some managements have kept the programme on hold. Ms P. Ushasri, principal, Johnson Grammar School, Nacharam, said, “The vaccination should be done by qualified doctors as the safety of the child is most important. We will take a decision collectively after discussing with all schools. If all the schools are going ahead with the programme we will also do that. Schools are scared because we are concerned about child’s safety”.
Dr Narsimha Reddy, principal, HPS Ramanthpur, said, “We had scheduled the programme for Monday, but we have kept it on hold as parents are apprehensive. Parents are asking for 100 per cent assurance but we cannot give such an assurance as the government is conducting the programme.” He said that the commissioner of health and family welfare had sought support for the vaccination programme. “But we cannot afford such incidents in our schools. Not only us, many private schools in Hyderabad have refused to comply following the death of a child in Guntur,” he added.
Dr G. Srinivasa Rao, chief programme officer, National Health Mission, said the vaccinations are done under medical supervision. Sometimes a few children may experience mild reactions and minor rashes but the chances of the vaccine causing death are “highly impossible”. He said the measles-rubella vaccine was one of the safest in the market.
Ms Vakati Karuna, commissioner of health and family welfare, said “In three days we have vaccinated 22 lakh children and apart from two-three cases where children faced mild rashes and fever. Nothing has happened in Telangana state. Some schools in Hyderabad have kept this programme on hold, but parents and schools should not panic as the vaccine is completely safe. We request the schools to conduct the vaccination. By keeping it on hold they are denying the child's right to be protected against the disease”.
Speaking about the death of 13-year-old K. Chenchu Laksmi allegedly after administering the measles-rubella vaccine, Dr Srinivas Rao said, “The death was not due to the vaccine. The case is being investigated by the AP government. That has scared many parents and schools in Hyderabad. We are giving the vaccine for protection of children”. Authorities said 8.22 lakh children were given the vaccine in the Guntur but there were no problems.