Sinhala (Sri Lanka)Tamil-Sri Lanka
Press Release

Death of a child in parallel with an immunization vaccination in the Chilaw MOH Division on 22.03.2011

A report has been received on 22nd March 2011 by the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health from the Regional Epidemiologist, Puttalam that a five-month-old child had died within a few hours following a Pentavalent (DTP-HepB-Hib) vaccination.

Preliminary investigations of the incident have revealed that the deceased child had been diagnosed with an incurable congenital heart disease by pediatric specialists and that the child's parents had been informed that his life span was short and that there were no remedies for the condition. However, the doctors had also informed the child's parents that the child could be immunized in accordance with the normal immunization programme for infants and children, Accordingly, the child had been administered the BCG vaccination at birth and the first dose of the pentavalent vaccine when he was 2 months old, and no adverse effects had been reported. He had been vaccinated with the second dose of the pentavalent vaccine on 22.03.2011.

Children with congenital heart diseases can be successfully vaccinated on accepted national and international immunization guidelines and the World Health Organization has not recommended withholding vaccinations to such children. Scientifically, vaccinating such children is even more appropriate in relation to the vaccination of healthy children because the former can be more vulnerable to diseases against which the vaccines are provided. A comprehensive inquiry into this death is underway presently under the guidance of the Judicial Medical Officer, Chilaw.


In Sri Lanka, where the rate of infant deaths is as low as 11 per 1000 births, the absolute number of such deaths amounts to over 4000 annually. This is around 10-11 deaths daily. Accordingly, around 10-11 children die across the country due to various diseases, and such a death as this can coincide with the event of an immunization. It should be noted that more than 7 million Sri Lankan children are successfully immunized under the National Immunization Programme and more than 50,000 potential deaths from 11 deadly diseases are prevented annually.

Therefore, without proper scientific investigation, one cannot immediately come to the conclusion that any death occured subsequent to a vaccination can be attributed to the vaccination. Accordingly, highlighting such an incident as a death caused by the vaccination will do great disservice to and will have a tremendously negative impact on the National Immunization Programme of Sri Lanka.

Therefore, I would like to acknowledge with appreciation the sense of responsibility and professional ethical practice that I am sure your media organization and news reporting will follow in covering this news event in a way that will retain confidence of the public in the National Immunization Programme conducted by the Ministry of Health.

Dr. Paba Palihawadana
Chief Epidemiologist
23.03.2011

Last Updated on Monday, 24 October 2011 07:55

What's New

Latest Events

Introduction of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine into the National Immunization Programme 

-----------------------------------------

Special Dengue campaign 9th and 10th Nov 2017 ( Sinhala / Tamil / English )

Dengue mosquito control week : 20 - 26 Sept 2017

Advice's for patients with Dengue Fever who are on ambulatory care ( Sinhala TamilEnglish )

Printable versions ( Sinhala / Tamil / English )

Triage of fever patients with suspected dengue and criteria for admission

Events

Introduction of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine into the National Immunization Programme

-----------------------------------------

Special Dengue campaign 9th and 10th Nov 2017 ( Sinhala / Tamil / English )

Dengue mosquito control week : 20 - 26 Sept 2017

Advice's for patients with Dengue Fever who are on ambulatory care ( Sinhala / Tamil / English )

Printable versions ( Sinhala / Tamil / English )

Triage of fever patients with suspected dengue and criteria for admission

-----------------------------------------

Disease Surveillance in Flood Affected Areas

1. Public health measures to be adopted in the event of floods.

2. Health messages for public.

-----------------------------------------

Zika Leaflet ( Sinhala/English )

Revised Guidelines for Clinical Management, Laboratory Investigation and Surveillance of Patients with Zika Virus Infection

 

Immunization coverage assessment survey

 

Ebola Preparedness – Assessment in Sri Lanka

Polio Eradication Endgame Plan

 

Influenza Disease

Seasonal Influenza

Influenza in pregnancy

MERS-CoV Infection

Introduction of the Inactivated Polio Vaccine

Symposium on Challenges in Prevention and Control of Hepatitis C

 


Working guideline for the management of patients having Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

Diagnosis of Ebola virus disease (EVD)

Haematological investigations of Ebola Virus disease (EVD) suspected patients

Before conducting any haematological investigations on suspected   Ebola Virus disease (EVD) patients

Please contact,

  1. Epidemiology unit – 0112 695112, 0112 681548
  2. Dr. Sunethra Gunasena  (Consultant virologist ) Medical Research Institute(MRI) Colombo
- 0112 693532, 0112 693533,0112 693534 / 5


News
Disease surveillance go online

Routine H399 (Weekly Return of Communicable Diseases) based disease surveillance system has been the driving hub for Sri Lankan...

Read More

Press Releases


A report has been received on 22nd March 2011 by the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health from the Regional Epidemiologist...

Read More

Let Sleeping Demons Sleep

Click here to view the gallery

Copyright © Epidemiology Unit - 2017
Terms of Use
Developed in Association with