Friday, February 6, 2015

Dozens of children feared dead after being injected with 'tainted’ measles vaccine in Syr

World Health Organisation programme is suspended after reports that up to 36 children have died after receiving the vaccination

 Photo: Alamy
The vaccination programme has since been suspended
By Damien McElroy, Reyhanli

8:07PM BST 16 Sep 2014

As many as 36 children were reported to have died excruciating deaths last night after receiving tainted measles vaccines under a UN-sponsored programme in the rebel-held north of Syria.

The programme was suspended amid rumours of sabotage of a high profile international effort to ensure the brutal civil war does not result in an outbreak of measles.

Doctors in clinics in the towns of Jirjanaz and Maaret al-Nouman in the northeastern province of Idlib said children started falling ill soon after the doses were administered.

“It’s very bad. The figures of dead we are getting go into the 30s. Children are dying very quickly,” said Daher Zidan, the coordinator of the medical charity, Uossm. “We think it will get worse.”

“The Syrian interim government’s health ministry has instructed a halt to the second round of the measles vaccination campaign, which began Monday ...

following several fatalities and injuries among children in vaccination centres in the Idlib countryside,” a statement said.

Medical experts said a contaminated batch of the vaccine was the most likely explanation for the incident.

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